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Carrie Eliza Anderson Getty
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Birth: 1843, Norway
Death: Feb. 24, 1890, USA

August 8, 2009

The Getty Tomb is an architectural masterpiece, probably the most architecturally significant monument in Graceland Cemetery and one of the most celebrated mausoleums in the world. Designed in 1890 by iconic American architect Louis Sullivan, it is one of his most successful architectural works.

Many photos of the exterior can be found online. The Library of Congress Photo Collection contains 6 different views. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright remarked "Outside the realm of music, what finer requiem?" Frank Stella's 1959 work entitled "Getty Tomb" is a comment on the immense darkness and sorrow of death.

Carrie Eliza Anderson was born in Skein, Norway and was living in Muskegon, Michigan by the time she was 18. Her husband was Henry Harrison Getty, born in Batavia, New York. They were married in Muskegon, Michigan on November 9, 1864.

Getty's father Adams and his family moved to Waukegan, Illinois when Henry was 14 years old. Getty moved to Muskegon in 1855. Muskegon at that time was becoming an epicenter of lumbering activities. In 1859 he found work with Martin Ryerson, a major force in the lumbering business. Getty purchased a portion of Ryerson's lumbering business in 1867 along with Ezra Stevens and Charles T. Hills as partners when Robert Morris, one of the original partners retired. As Getty's responsibilities increased he himself became wealthy. He was a one-term mayor of Muskegon, Michigan during the 1870's.

Martin Ryerson was a client of Sullivan's. Sullivan designed 5 buildings in Chicago for Ryerson. These were all early Adler and Sullivan works. Sullivan designed Ryerson's tomb, a fascinating work in polished black granite, also located in Graceland Cemetery. Getty was a stock holder in the famous Adler and Sullivan-designed Auditorium Building in Chicago.

The tomb is forward looking, abstract, self-assured, and stands as a work that turns its back on literal historical references. Additionally, it serves as Sullivan's starting point in the Chicago School of Architecture movement and can be seen as a precursor to the modern movement of architecture in America.

Several months after Carrie died, Getty and his daughter Alice left their home on Prairie Avenue in Chicago, traveled the world and moved to Paris. Their apartment was on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, not far from the Arc de Triomphe. The two traveled back and forth to the United States a number of times through the years and kept in touch with their friends, including Martin A. Ryerson, the son of Martin Ryerson. Artifacts from Henry and Alice's travels can be found in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Henry died in Paris in 1919. His body was returned to Chicago and is laid to rest here. Alice, a musical composer and author, was the only child of Carrie and Henry. She died in New York in 1946 and is interred here. She never married and did not bear any children. Alice was the author of "The gods of Northern Buddhism" and helped World War I French soldiers by creating a publishing house that produced thousands of braille versions of books.

The tomb bronzework was fabricated by Yale & Towne. The beautiful, precisely detailed bronze door reportedly took an artisan and assistant a year to create and weighs 1,100 pounds. A plaster copy of the door was created and exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. Sullivan was presented with an award for the design.
Graceland Cemetery
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Plot: Carrie Eliza Getty
Created by: Roger Hastings
Record added: Aug 08, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40440199
Carrie Eliza <i>Anderson</i> Getty
Added by: Roger Hastings
Carrie Eliza <i>Anderson</i> Getty
Added by: Roger Hastings
Carrie Eliza <i>Anderson</i> Getty
Added by: Roger Hastings
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Born Karen Elise Ostensdatter Sep 2, 1841 in Maela, Gjerpen, Skien, Telemark, Norway daughter of Osten Andersen of Maela Gjerpen born 1804 and Kirsten Andrea Jensdatter born 1807 in Gjerpen.
- Michael Nelson
 Added: Oct. 11, 2012

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