Of the more seductive stones used in architecture, Carrara marble has a long-standing reputation for the elegance of its milky white constitution and soft, ghostly veins. The namesake town of this marble is located in Tuscany, amidst the Apuan Alps. There are other forms of marble quarried in the town of Carrara, and these are distinguished by their nuances in colour and greater intensity of striation: they may be tinged with a feather-grey shadow, a cooler tone of blue, a tint of yellow, while the veins vary in density from widely spaced and bold calligraphic lines, to fine, lustrous, wing-like nets.
But it was especially the Carrara marble that first captured the imagination of the architects of Ancient Rome — whose production with Carrara marble was especially pronounced in the 1st century A.D. — and later the sculptors of the Renaissance, and has since found international renown in contemporary sculpture and design. On excursion to Carrara, writer Eric Scigliano wrote about the history and character of the quarrying region, the imprint of its legacy that was magnified through the sculpture of Michelangelo, and the idiosyncrasies that have since defined this stone’s place in our modern world.
“The vertical moonscape of peaks and quarries and the twenty-six-hundred-year history of their conquest and exploitation — a history drenched in blood and occasionally limned by genius, peopled with slaves and centurions, emperors and brigands, butchers and poets, anarchist saints and Fascist demons — and throughout, the stoic stonecutters and quarrymen, moving mountains with their bare hands: it all seemed a spectacle too ample for any chronicle to comprehend. Even the ordinarily sardonic, saturnine Michelangelo Buonarroti was swept away by this spectacle.
... The real Carrara is raw, rough-edged, and quirky. It is that anathema of guidebooks, an "industrial" community whose residents do something other than cater to tourists.” 
Quarrying the marble in the Apuan Alps was especially dangerous, as miners had to dig into the mountains to establish underground gallerie . Memorialized in the marble that gave Carrara its bones, Italian anarchist and writer Alberto Meschi is the most recognized organizer of the region’s history of trade unions and anti-fascist resistance. A particularly fruitful period of strikes within the marble industry between 1911 and 1914 enabled workers to secure more of their demands for working hours and conditions . Carrara continues to rely on the quarrying and trade of marble, but the diversity of trades involved in this economy has been reduced to a ‘monoculture’ based entirely on marble extraction .
In the late 19th century, American importers were lured by the cheaper labour of the Italian miners, and the honed artistry of Carrara's carvers. The high demand for mortuary statues at the time created a 'factory' industry for funereal sculptures, destined for the cemeteries of cities along the Rocky Mountains, mimicking the Roman use of Carrara marble for sarcophagi, like the Proserpina sarcophagus depicting Persephone’s descent into Pluto’s underworld . Carrara has been carved into the divine sentinels of these graves, into replicas of lost lovers and reunited families, or stock depictions of angels and saints, lambs, and stylized Victorian floral symbols that were hammered out .
Carrara marble continued to make its way into North America through the late 19th and 20th century. Throughout Mid Century Modern furniture and interior design, Carrara marble was explored through minimalist combinations with brass or bronze gilding, which brightens and clarifies the tones of the white stone. Contemporary iterations of these iconic forms take on a more tactile experimentation with materials, in which marble is unexpectedly situated against leather or weaving.
 Scigliano, Eric, Michelangelo's mountain: the quest for perfection in the marble quarries of Carrara, Simon and Schuster, November 1, 2007. Link here.
 Heath, Nick, Alberto Meschi, 1879-1958. Libcom. Accessed October 24, 2016. Link here.
 Mistiaen, Veronique and Briganti, Chiara, “Michaelangelo’s marble is being sold cheap by the industrialists”, Newsweek. March 27, 2015. Accessed October 24, 2016. Link here.
 Stott, Annette, Pioneer Cemeteries: Sculpture Gardens of the Old West, University of Nebraska Press, 2008. Link here.
 Mytum, H. C., Mortuary Monuments and Burial Grounds of the Historic Period, Springer Science & Business Media, 2004. Link here.
 Blair, Courtney Willis, “Contemporary Marble Sculptures Are Sprouting Near the Ruins in Rome”, Forbes. August 25, 2015. Accessed October 24 2016. Link here.