Hal Hirshorn
  • Memento Mori Exhibition

    "Little Angel" image of Marian St. Laurent who poses in a coffin at the Merchants House Museum as part of her "Our Darling: A Memorial For Photography" piece. Photograph by Hal Hirshorn.
    Hal Hirshorn
  • Memento Mori Exhibition

    Postmortem photograph of an infant draped over mother's lap. (daguerreotype 1/6 Plate, Circa 1854. Courtesy of The Burns Archive)
    Courtesy of The Burns Archive/Sleeping Beauty III
  • Memento Mori Exhibition

    Photographer Hal Hirshorn staged a postmortem photography scene - including a faux corpse and a grieving family member - in the Merchant's House parlor. Prior to the creation of funeral parlors, wakes and memorial services occurred in people's private homes. (Photo By Hal Hirshorn)
    Hal Hirshorn
  • Memento Mori Exhibition

    Marian St. Laurent poses in a somber style with a modern twist: the artist wears a pair of trousers instead of the more traditional skirt worn by women during the mid-19th century. The photograph is part of St. Laurent's "Our Darling: A Memorial For Photography" piece. (Photographer is Hal Hirshorn)
    Hal Hirshorn
  • Memento Mori Exhibition

    There were no original postmortem photographs of Seabury Treadwell, the family patriarch who lived in what is now the Merchant's House Museum. As a result, photographer Hal Hirshorn recreated this postmortem scene using 19th century photography techniques.
    Hal Hirshorn
  • Memento Mori Exhibition

    Postmortem photograph of a young girl peacefully posed and surrounded by candles. Postmortem photographs became popular after the introduction of photography in the mid-19th century. Photographs of the dead were done out a desire to preserve an image of a loved one. (Photo circa 1905 - Courtesy of The Burns Archive/Sleeping Beauty III)
    Courtesy of The Burns Archive/Sleeping Beauty III
  • Memento Mori Exhibition

    Recreation of a postmortem photograph of Seabury Treadwell. Lilies were a popular funeral flower because they were incredibly fragrant and helped to mask the smell of decay.
    Hal Hirshorn
  • Memento Mori Exhibition

    A dead infant is displayed and photographed in a domestic library. The sometimes heartbreaking postmortem photographs – particularly of young children and babies – were not for public consumption. Postmortem photographs were taken because family members often died before relatives had had an opportunity to take their portraits. ("Sleeping Beauty 2" image silver print mounted on board 10 by 8 inches, circa 1890 (Courtesy of The Burns Archive/Sleeping Beauty III)
    Courtesy of The Burns Archive/Sleeping Beauty III
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