“Day of the Dead” (Eames Brothers, 1957)

Produced by the American designers Charles and Ray Eames, this short film offers insight into the Dia de Muertos festival through the medium of folk art. I’m fascinated by the animated diorama shown at 6.50 in the video, but unfortunately I’ve been unable to find any more information about this type of toy. Notably, none … Read more“Day of the Dead” (Eames Brothers, 1957)

The Death Issue

In the Death Issue of The Nib Magazine, two dozen artists from around the world offer their perspectives on mortality, from a heartfelt and poignant memoir of infant loss to an exploration of the cultural relationship between Halloween and Dia de los Muertos. Here’s a generous assortment of excerpts and below are some sample panels … Read moreThe Death Issue

“The Art of Ritual: Changing Ways of Life and Death” November 2021

I’m pleased to announce the second rendition of the Art of Ritual course, a five-week Zoom-based learning experience hosted by the Morbid Academy. The first rendition sold out quickly and we’ve extended the class-time for course two, running 2 hours rather than 1.5 per class. Here’s some participant feedback from the first course: I loved … Read more“The Art of Ritual: Changing Ways of Life and Death” November 2021

A Pioneering Theosophical Funeral in 1870s New York City

In the first series of his Old Diary Leaves (1874-’78), Colonel Henry Steel Olcott records the events of a Theosophical funeral ceremony he devised and presided over at the Masonic Temple in New York City. The ritual was to mark the life and death of the Baron de Palm, a member of the then-recently inaugurated … Read moreA Pioneering Theosophical Funeral in 1870s New York City

“Monuments to Unbelief”

Leigh E. Schmidt’s essay for Aeon.com examines the phenomenon of public memorials representing humanism, freethought and atheism: American freethinkers had long been preoccupied with the public memorialising of their incredulity and anticlericalism. They wanted to enshrine their commitment to scientific rationality over biblical revelation, their strict construction of church-state separation, and their worldly focus on … Read more“Monuments to Unbelief”