Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania: Museum of Mourning Art (Closed)

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Arlington Cemetery

Directions:
West of Philadelphia. South of W. Chester Pike/Hwy 3 on State Road in Arlington Cemetery. Enter the cemetery from State Rd, then immediately turn right to drive to the Museum.
Hours:
Museum closed in 2016, and is selling off its art.
Status:
Closed
Museum of Mourning Art

The culture of death and grief is revealed in a collection of funerary artifacts, art, and oddities. Museum closed in 2016, and is selling off its art.

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Museum of Mourning Art

A permanent Museum of Mourning Art for the study of beliefs and rituals that surround the arts of dying and grieving. The Museum of Mourning Art at Arlington houses original objects that tell the story of death in emblems -- the emblems of the skull, the skeleton, the crossed bones, the lamb,the angel, the wreath, the stages of life, the urn.

These designs appear on engravings, books, clocks, bells, gates, embroideries, paintings, jewelry, clothing, and ceramics, all art forms produced between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. The exhibit appeals to a person just interested in walking through a museum, to a mourner needing to feel his or her place in the history of grief, to a scholar doing research, to a theologian, an artist or art therapist, and sometimes, to a person terminally ill. From these images, the visitor can observe what people believed about death, heaven, and hell. The emblems are clear, natural,and readable with and without words.

[e.wojcik, 07/23/2009]
Museum of Mourning Art

The Kirk and Nice Funeral Home in Germantown (a section of Philly, brags that it is the oldest funeral home in America. There is also somewhere in Philly a Museum of Mourning Art that I read about in the Philadelphia Inquirer about 3 years ago. Finally, in keeping with the death theme, Laurel Hill cemetery is a famous cemetery whose monuments have lots of civil war heroes, but the best monument of all is to a guy who purportedly was the handsomest man in Philadelphia at the time of his death. His mausoleum features a life size statue of him, I suppose so you can judge for yourself.

[Wendy R., 04/11/1999]

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