Presidential Library touts new exhibit on funeral customs, mourning rituals
The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum announced last week that it has created a new exhibit displayed in President Wilson’s Birthplace, a Presbyterian Manse, illustrating 19th century funeral customs and mourning rituals.
The exhibit includes a Victorian-era coffin in the parlor, a display of hair art, black crepe, mourning clothing and accessories, and wreaths and flowers. The hair art display consists of sentimental and ornamental jewelry and framed wreaths made from human hair. The exhibit will remain on display through Oct. 31.
“Mourning in the Manse” allows visitors to step back in time to understand with greater clarity this tradition from the time of our 28th president and his family. The exhibit demonstrates how very different funeral customs were at that time in our history, and Museum interpreters will answer questions visitors have such as why mirrors were hung with crepe and why the flowers were significant during the mourning period.