Monday, May 25, 2009

Death and Beauty















This is going to be a strange post. Yesterday Gail, Juli and I went to the Funeral Museum in Houston , the only one of its' kind.  I am into all  things gothic also  in my love for  victorian  ornamentation I  knew this would be a treasure trove for both . Most of these artifacts have  come from the 19th century the hey day of  acceptable  open grieving .  What we viewed was amazing, but it did leave me with a dark hangover. Here are some of the images.  The large wide  coffin was a custom job  built for three people, a father and mother who had it made after their child died. They planned on killing them selves and  would then  have their daughter  exhumed.  After that  they would  all be  placed in the same casket and  buried together. The parents did not carry through with their plans. But I say  SHAME on the undertaker for taking  advantage of  them   in their time of grief . This happened in 1930 when there may have been few counselors to help them. The ornamental animal caskets are from Ghana  and the glass casket was never put into production as the lid was so heavy that when it was closed it  had a tendency  to crack the glass base. The white hearse was reserved for  children  and was made to be  pulled by 2 men dressed in black .

11 comments:

Kristin said...

Awesome pictures Julie! This is right up my alley too, even if it is a bit weird. :-)

lilylovekin said...

Looks like a fascinating place. I hope your "hangover" has worn off.

Silke said...

Oh, this is fascinating! Daniel and I would have loved to visit there - it's amazing really that there aren't more museums like that with all the lore surrounding death and funerals. Those hearses are amazing!

Maija said...

Very cool- I can appreciate a day at this type of museum!

Susan said...

Julie, I found your page from Noodle and Lou. You have a great blog. Death is such a crucial part of life. I can see where a trip like this would have lingering effects. Such a sad story about the large coffin. Is that middle picture made from the hair of a loved one?. This really is a fascinating subject. Thanks for taking such good pictures. I feel like I have been there. Take care, Susan

Gail said...

A bit creepy, but very interesting. Sad about the parents of the child - I wonder what happened to them? We still use those white, horse drawn carriages in the uk (and black ones too) They look magnificent drawn by the horses with full plumage. In fact, the last funeral I attended was like this, with several hundren mourners following on foot - the traffic was brought to a standstill!

Gail x

whymsicalmusings said...

WOW Julie so interesting. Although death and grief are something I try to avoid. So much sadness won't let a girl smile!
Anyway if I ever make it back to Houston I think I might have to check this out. I love museums and history.
XXX
Becky

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Dark, yet touching.

Sharon said...

My great-grandmother was buried in a coffin with a glass lid. This would have been in the early 1920's. My grandmother was only 16(the oldest of three) and my great-grandfather was just overwhelmed by his loss. From pictures I look a lot like her, to the point that when I was 15, and I had not seen my great-grandfather since I was about 9, he ended up talking to me as if I was her.

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