Memento Mori- The Exhibition & Opening at The Merchant's House Museum

Below are a few photographs illustrating the exhibition at The Merchant's House Museum. According to historic preservation rules the installation had to be creatively planned. No photos could be hung on the walls or placed directly on the furniture of this beautifully preserved 19th century home, nor could there be bright lights or flash photography. Memento Mori curator Eva Ulz did a great job of displaying a rich amount of information to compliment the historical and contemporary images. Early daguerreotypes and ambrotypes are exhibited in closets, waiting to be discovered. Three traditional wood displays encase memorial ephemera including postmortem photographs, coffin plates and cards. There is a sound and scent component to the exhibition as well- the rooms are perfumed and subtle recordings can be heard.
The Opening Sign
A View of the Rear Parlor
A View of the Front Parlor
Reproduction Casket by Artist Marian St. Laurent
On Display in Eliza Tredwell's Bedroom on the Second Story of the House
One of the Informational Timelines Created by the Museum
The Postmortem Photo on the Left is a Print from
Sleeping Beauty II
Postmortem Daguerreotypes & Ambrotypes
Displayed on the 'Whatnot' Shelf
One of the Three Cases Displaying Postmortem Paper Prints
Another One of the Postmortem Display Cases
Dr. Burns With His Video Camera Before the Opening Reception
Eva Ulz: Giving the Coffin a Test Run
Visitors to the exhibition can try out the coffin and
have their own postmortem photograph recorded.
Lissa Rivera of The Burns Archive
Reading the Display by Marian St. Laurent
Alice Lease Dana of The Burns Archive
Modeling her Mantilla in the 'Secret' Garden

A Slideshow of Photos From the Opening Reception

Dr. Burns 'At Rest' After a Hard Day's Work
A Souvenir From the Opening Reception
Visitors to the opening had their own postmortem taken as a souvenir to the event. Anyone who visits is encouraged to try out the coffin and have their own photo captured. The museum has started a Flickr gallery to collect and share the images. Click HERE to see who has been brave enough to step inside! 

Even if you did not make it to the opening you can still see the exhibit through November 29. There will be events such as a book signing & lecture with Dr.Burns as well as a 1865 Funeral Reenactment held by the museum staff. Please keep an eye on this blog and the Merchant's House Museum Calendar HERE.