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Art Coffins: National Museum of Funeral History

Houston, Texas

Crab coffin.
Yamaha outboard motor coffin.
Mercedes Benz coffin.
Chicken coffin.
Fish coffin.
KLM jet coffin.

The collection of hand-painted Ghanaian coffins in the National Museum of Funeral History -- the largest collection outside of Africa, we are told -- are the handwork of Kane Quaye ("clearly Ghana's most noted coffin design maker") and his son Ben.

A giant crab coffin rubs a claw against one shaped like a commercial jet ("often made for someone who has never flown"), while the big crayfish is wedged between a giant chicken, a Mercedes-Benz, and an outboard motor ("owning an outboard motor is a significant status symbol"). Signs remind visitors that Ghanian coffins are popular with private collectors and the international art market.

Too bad this hasn't caught on as an American tradition, though our equivalent would likely be closer to a giant Happy Meal toy than a work of art.

We'd be thrilled to be buried in coffins like these, even if our relatives might not exactly approve...

Also see: National Museum of Funeral History

National Museum of Funeral History

415 Barren Springs Drive, Houston, TX
North of Houston on I-45. By the airport take exit 63. Turn west onto Airtex. Drive a quarter-mile to its end. Turn right onto Ella Blvd. Drive two blocks. Turn right onto Barren Springs Drive. The museum is the first building on the right.
M-F 10-4, Sa 10-5, Su 12-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $15.
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