Van Ness - Parson's Sphinx
Van Ness - Parson's Sphinx

Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY Photograph by A. Louise Myers at

press to zoom

Inscription on the base of the son's memorial.

The memorial for their son who was lost at sea.  It is a representation of the Pharaoh’s daughter, Jochebed holding the baby Moses after finding him in the bullrushes.

Back to Gallery

Van Ness - Parson's Sphinx

Greenwood Cemetery

Brooklyn, New York

October 2007


Egyptologist Albert Ross Parsons published New Light from the Great Pyramid in 1893 and died in 1933. He was also a noted composer and musician in his time. Also in the pyramid is Parsons’ wife Alice Schuyler Van Ness who died in 1931.

Alongside a pyramid-shaped mausoleum, this Sphinx seems appropriate. However, the life-size statues of Jesus and Mary holding baby Jesus, who holds a lamb, that flank the doors seem a tad strange, as is the space above the doors, which is emblazoned with a sun encircled by points of the zodiac and crowned by a crucifix. A mixed marriage? Covering all their bases? Also odd is the monument for their son, lost at sea, which appears to be an ancient Egyptian woman with a baby to suckle (see below).