19th Century Mourning Customs

Grief was more than just an emotion for Americans during the 1800s - it was a way of life. 19th Century Mourning Customs draws on the Museum's extensive knowledge about how death was handled in this period of US history.

Authentic mourning clothing on display illustrates the strict rules that governed the life of a woman following her husband's death; a collection of clocks, quilts and even jewelry fashioned from the hair of the decedent show how everyday items were transformed into ways to memorialize the departed; and a full-scale model of a typical Victorian living room depicts the traditional wake and funeral practices which took place inside of the home.

Visit the photo gallery to view more of the exhibit's highlights.