Jonathan Butterfield, Chelmsford, 1750
A businessman from Worcester, Mass., Daniel Farber (1906-1998) was among the best known photographers of early American gravestone art. Over the course of twenty years beginning in about 1970, he and his wife Jessie Lie Farber (a faculty member at Mount Holyoke College) took thousands of photographs of gravestones throughout New England and the eastern United States, eventually extending their work internationally. Interested in both the artistic and cultural value of gravestones, the Farbers were founding members of the Association for Gravestone Studies in 1976 and influenced a generation of fellow researchers in gravestone studies.
Printed in 1973, the Farber Collection includes 326 black and white prints (5×7″),mounted on rag board, of of colonial and early national gravestones in Massachusetts. The towns represented, most by multiple images, include Auburn, Billerica, Boylston, Brookfield, Cambridge, Charlestown, Chelmsford, Concord. Holden, Leicester, Lexington, Marlboro, Northboro, North Brookfield, Oxford, Paxton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Watertown, Wayland, and Westboro.