Wedding in the Cemetery

In this painting a Chicago artist depicts Eastern European folklore

Leon Garland

In Eastern Europe, legend had it that during a cholera epidemic if two orphans would marry in a cemetery then their dead parents might intercede to stop the epidemic. This was called a shvartze chasene (a black wedding). In attendance are the usual participants in a Jewish wedding including the orchestra and the badchen (wedding jester).
Leon Garland (1896-1941) was born in Russia and arrived in the United States in 1913. His first hand experience of oppression in Russia imbued him with a passion to create a better world. He was committed to bettering the lives of ordinary working people and became associated with Hull House, where he thrived. He worked, taught, exhibited, and even lived at Hull House with his wife Sadie, whom he met there. He thought of himself as a worker—not a member of an elite creative class.

Name: Wedding in the Cemetery
Artist: Leon Garland
Origin: Chicago, Illinois, United States, 1932
Medium: Oil on Canvas, Painting
Dimensions: 30 x 40 in.
Credit: Gift of the estate of Sadie Dreikurs, c/o Eva Ferguson
Catalog Number: 2003.4