In this short video, visualization artist Martin Janoušek evokes French architect Etienne-Louis Boullée’s imagined cenotaph for Sir Isaac Newton. Boullée designed the “Temple of Death” in 1785 and while it was never built, his pioneering vision has inspired generations of architects. Here’s further commentary on Boullée’s epic notion of memorial from Professor Erika Naginski of … Read moreEtienne-Louis Boullée’s “Temple of Death”
In July 2020 Joanna Ebenstein will be offering an 8-hour online course in the history, mystery and art of the memento mori: Death is the great mystery of human life. Each of us – barring some medical miracle – will die. Foreknowledge of our own death is a defining characteristic of humanity; the ancient Greeks … Read moreMake Your Own Memento Mori: Befriending Death with Art, History and the Imagination with Morbid Anatomy Founder Joanna Ebenstein
The 2016 TV series Houdini and Doyle teamed these two very famous figures, together with pioneering female police constable Adelaide Stratton, in investigating apparently supernatural mysteries in early Edwardian London. Obviously, the series was a work of fiction inspired by some historically real characters and situations, with a lot of creative license applied. For example, whereas the real Harry … Read moreDid Houdini and Doyle Really Investigate Supernatural Mysteries?
by Tony Wolf (originally published via the Atlas Obscura on October 9, 2017) After my father died in mid-2016, the family was faced with a daunting question: “What to do with the collection?” Dad had been acquiring and restoring all manner of curious antiques since the 1960s. His vast collection filled “the studio”—a huge, barn-like building … Read moreDiscovering a Vintage “Spook Show” in my Dad’s Antique Collection
A short 2014 documentary on the history of (and modern practice of creative memorial at) London’s once-forgotten Cross Bones Graveyard. Since the time this video was produced, there have been considerable developments in connection with Cross Bones. Check out the Friends of Cross Bones website for much, much more on this poignant and inspiring story.
This 2018 article from the Atlas Obscura recalls the bygone age when American cemeteries served as public parks as part of the rural cemetery movement. Echoing the Mexican Dia de Muertos tradition, the cemetery picnic fad continued into the 1920s, when cemetery managers began to ban the practice over concerns about boisterous behavior and littering. … Read moreRemembering When Americans Picnicked in Cemeteries
In collaboration with the good people at Reimagine’s Life, Loss and Love Festival, I will be giving an illustrated Zoom presentation on this theme on the evening of May 6th. Here’s the presentation description: “Remember death and therefore seize the day!”It’s an ancient and profoundly simple philosophy, but how can members of the emerging “alt-death” … Read more“Creating Countercultural Memento Mori”
Dr. Jane Wildgoose’s London memory library/wunderkammer has been described as (…) a place where the heart remembers; where tender connections are made with forgotten feelings; and where the emotive power of the lost rituals of death is explored and interpreted by Jane’s sensitivity and unerring eye for the compelling.’- Roger Bowdler, ‘World of Interiors’ (November … Read moreInside the Wildgoose Memorial Library