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Charleston Museum
Thursday, October 31, 2019, 10:30 – 11:30am

“Jewelry made from human remains has always been a way to remember a loved one, and as colonialism spread, these tribal accouterments were unsurprisingly adopted by the social elite. Hair was instantly recognized as a memento mori or souvenir of sorts and the mourning and hair jewelry market had migrated from Western Europe to America and, by the early eighteenth century, had arrived in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

During Charleston’s colonial era, forms of mourning jewelry were relatively small in size, and lockets, medallions, and brooches often depicted funerary scenes “drawn” with hair from the departed. Expectedly, the more involved the arrangement, the more expensive it was. 

For the month of October, The Charleston Museum will present a special pop-up exhibit, Morbid Mourning, with select mourning jewelry pieces from the Museum’s History Collection. Senior Curator, Grahame Long, will discuss the selected objects and the way mourning jewelry evolved over time, at 10:30 am on October 31st. This talk is free for members and free with admission.

After diving into the display with Grahame Long, witness live braiding with Gina Iacovelli at 2 pm for Mourning the Dead: Talk and Demonstration of Human Hair Jewelry with Gina Iacovelli.Both talks are free for members and free with admission to The Charleston Museum.”

Event Type: Lecture/Discussion, Other