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Dexter Graves Monument
U.S. Historic district
Contributing property
Chicago, Illinois Eternal Silence1 crop.jpg
According to folklore looking into the eyes of the statue will give the viewer a vision of their own death.
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Location Uptown, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States
Built 1909
Built by Jules Bercham
Sculptor Lorado Taft
Architectural style Art Nouveau
Part of Graceland Cemetery (ID00001628)
Added to NRHP January 18, 2001

Eternal Silence is a monument in Chicago's Graceland Cemetery. It is also known as the Dexter Graves Monument or the Statue of Death. The statue is a bronze sculpture set on and backdropped by black granite. It was created by American sculptor Lorado Taft in 1909.


Chicago, Illinois Eternal Silence1
Hooded bronze figure

Eternal Silence is a monument in Graceland Cemetery to Dexter Graves. Graves led a group of thirteen families who moved to Chicago from Ohio in 1831. He died in 1844, and the monument was created by sculptor Lorado Taft in 1909. Taft's son, Henry Graves, asked him to create it. In Ada Bartlett Taft's 1946 Lorado Taft; Sculptor and Citizen, it was listed as one of his most important works. Images of Eternal Silence have been used in other artworks, including works by Claes Oldenburg. One folktale claims that if someone looks into the eyes of Eternal Silence's hooded figure, the viewer would be shown his or her own death.

  • Kiefer, Charles D., Achilles, Rolf, and Vogel, Neil A. "Graceland Cemetery" (pdf), National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, HAARGIS Database, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, June 18, 2000, accessed October 8, 2011.
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