City Life

The Lovers' Tomb

Love lasts forever at the Annmary Brown Memorial, Brown University's two-in-one art gallery and mausoleum

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As the great philosopher Huey Lewis once mused, “The power of love is a curious thing.” We never know how or when love will find us, but when it does it tends to stick, for better or worse. Take General Rush Hawkins who, after the death of his wife, decided that the library he had been planning to build for his collection of rare books and art would also serve as a mausoleum for his beloved Annmary Brown.

Brown University was deeded control of The Annmary Brown Memorial in 1948. Home to the university’s only permanent collections, it currently boasts an impressive display of antique figurines and British swords, as well as artifacts from Rush Hawkins’ time as a Brigadier General during the Civil War, portraits of the Hawkins and Brown families, and the late general’s stunning collection of European and American art. But the real showstopper is the tomb at the back of the building, the final resting place of Hawkins and his wife.

Hawkins wrote that the building was “first of all a memorial to a woman of noble character. It is secondarily a collection of art treasures.” The sentiment has endured. Every March 9, Annmary’s birthday, fresh flowers are placed on her and the general’s graves and left there for the year.