Morton Feldman Page
Morton Feldman died on 3 September 1987, and was buried alongside his parents in Beth Moses Jewish Cemetery, in West Babylon, Long Island, about 30 miles east of New York City. Both his parents had died just a few years earlier; his mother, Frances, in 1984, and his father, Irving, in 1985. In December 2016, Zahra Partovi visited Beth Moses Cemetery in search of Feldman's grave. Some of the photos she took there are shown here (click any photo to enlarge). She later wrote the following account of her visit, and made the short film included below.
Paying Respect to Morton Feldman in his Resting Place
This was a very special journey for me. I called the cemetery the week before I went and spoke with a very sweet woman. She was so moved by my emotions about visiting the gravesite that she said she would pick me up from the station. I waited several cloudy and rainy days for a day with clear skies. Then I took the train to Long Island's Pinelawn Station, but decided I would walk to the cemetery. After all I was on a pilgrimage and didn't want to be driven in a car. I brought a box of chocolates for the cemetery official, and with two stones in my pocket, I began looking for Morton Feldman. It was a cold, but beautiful day...
In the Jewish tradition, I laid stones on Feldman's grave - one for me and one for Chris Villars who helped by identifying the cemetery for me. The photo with my hand on the gravestone in prayer is because in the Persian tradition, depending on the level of intimacy with the deceased person, we put from one to five fingers on the stone. When I began to offer a prayer, without even questioning, I naturally put all five fingers on the stone - and it felt right.
Beth Moses Cemetery in early morning light
Watch: Looking for Morton Feldman - A film by Zahra Partovi