Cypress Lawn is an outdoor museum teeming with Egyptian Revival architecture and design.
The style is both ancient and neo-classical, and in its day, very trendy. Architects copied the lines, jewelers were inspired by the forms and symbols, and major manufactures produced Egyptian themed clocks, silverware, cigar cutters, vases and even caskets.
Many believe Egyptian Revival was a fad following the discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922. Actually, that was its final period and almost all the examples at Cypress Lawn were constructed years earlier.
The first major Egyptian Revival began after Napoleon’s campaigns in Egypt (1798-99) and the subsequent occupation by the British. It reappeared in the 1820s-1850s as a result of famous archaeological digs of the time and was primarily used for memorials, Masonic temples, and cemetery mausoleums.
Then in the 1870s-1880s, Egyptian Revival motifs were in full vogue again, and now the styles became even more elaborate. A new round of archaeological digs and the discoveries of ancient tombs were front page news. The ancient obelisks brought from Egypt and re-erected in New York, London, and Paris were dubbed “Cleopatra’s Needle.” It is from this period that Egyptomania emerged at Cypress Lawn.
Obelisk commemorating the centennial of the founding of Cypress Lawn: 1892-1992
All the pictures appearing in this post are from Cypress Lawn.
You are invited to visit our grounds and take your own photographs. What you have seen here is just the tip of the pyramid.
Terry Hamburg, Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation