Memorial To A Marriage

Woodlawn Cemetery
Bronx, NY
November 3, 2002 - Eternity

Carrara marble, over life size, 27 x 42 x 84 inches

Memorial To A Marriage (2002) is the first and only Marriage Equality monument in the world. Cronin created a three-ton Carrara marble, mortuary sculpture of herself and (now) wife, artist Deborah Kass, recumbent in an entwined embrace on a bed, when same sex marriage was illegal in the United States.

To simulate a few of the 1200 rights heterosexual marriage affords, homosexual couples could only acquire legal documents about the end of their lives, such as wills, health care proxies and powers of attorney documents. Employing the American Neo- classical sculptural form to address a federal failure of prohibiting same sex couples to legally wed, she purchased their burial plot in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY a National Historic Landmark, and permanently installed the statue on their future final resting place. By acquiring her own land, she also addressed the scarcity of real women (as opposed to allegorical female forms) honored in public monuments.

Although the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, making the United States the 29th country in the world, out of 195 countries, legally recognizing same sex marriage, homosexuality is still illegal and punishable up to death in 27 countries. This is still a major international human rights issue.

Memorial To A Marriage (2002) has been exhibited in over 50 exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Scotland, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL, and Newcomb Art Museum, Tulane University, New Orleans, among others.

Bronze versions are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, The Fuhrman Family Foundation, New York, Perez Art Museum Miami, Miami and Kelvingrove Art Museum and Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland. It is permanently on view in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland.

November 3, 2022 was the 20th anniversary of Memorial To A Marriage.


Installation Views


Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx NY
November 3, 2002 - Eternity


Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx NY
November 3, 2002 - Eternity


Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx NY
November 3, 2002 - Eternity


Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx NY
November 3, 2002 - Eternity


Memorial To A Marriage
Grand Arts, Kansas City, MO
September 6 - October 19, 2002


Memorial To A Marriage
Grand Arts, Kansas City, MO
September 6 - October 19, 2002


Memorial To A Marriage in Patricia Cronin, Aphrodite and the Lure of Antiquity: Conversations with the Collection
 Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL
 August 16, 2018 - January 6, 2019


Memorial To A Marriage in Recent Acquisitions
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC
November 17, 2017 - November 4, 2018 


Memorial To A Marriage in Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today from the Permanent Collection
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC
November 2, 2018 - August 18, 2019 (then traveled the United States through 2021)


Memorial To A Marriage, bronze, edition of 6, 1/3 to scale size, 2004


Installation view of bronze with Rodins in Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Gallery, Brooklyn Museum
April 16, 2004 - December 31, 2005


Permanent Collection, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland
On view 2012 - Present



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The Washington Post | November 15 2018

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The Washington Post | February 23 2012

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Hyperallergic | October 11 2011

"Til Death Do Us Part"
The Huffington Post | October 4 2011

"Love and Marriage, On Display For Eternity" | September 21 2011

"Memorial to a Marriage: Artist Patricia Cronin Casts Eternity"
Bomblog | September 19 2011

"Eternal Portraits of a Lesbian Marriage"
Ms. Magazine | September 19 2011

"Artists Patricia Cronin and Deborah Kass to Rest Forever in Bronx Cemetery"
The New York Observer | September 12 2011

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"Two Artists Reflect on the Contemporary Memorial"
Public Art Review | Winter 2011

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Deutsche Bank | August 2007

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"Brave Grave"
Ms. Magazine | Spring 2004

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Artforum | December 2003

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Out Magazine | December 2003

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"Plot Twist"
ARTnews | January 2003

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"Patricia Cronin"
The New Yorker | December 2 2002