The Art of Mourning:19th Century Postmortem and Memorial Photography Lecture


The Art of Mourning:

19th Century Postmortem & Memorial Photography Lecture

Photo Credit: Stanley B. Burns, MD & The Burns Archive

Saturday, November 4, 2017


Elizabeth Burns, of the nationally renowned The Burns Archive and historic photo consultant for the HBO/Cinemax series The Knick & Public Broadcast Station’s (PBS) series Mercy Street, will discuss how photographs were used to memorialize dead loved ones with a reverence which is little understood today.  Learn how these photographs were a normal part of the culture, and how they are a testament to a time when the magic of photography offered the hope of extending relationships.  Rare postmortem photographs from the The Burns Archive will be shown.

Admission: $5.00

Purchase tickets online

Limited Seating Available!

Also, see the Norwalk Historical Society’s current exhibits which includes, Self and the World: Experiencing 19th-Century Photography in Norwalk, curated by Elizabeth Avery and graphic designs by Scott Kuykendall.

Note: The Lecture will take place on the second floor of the Norwalk Historical Society Museum.  At this time, there are no elevators to the second floor.


About Elizabeth A. Burns and The Burns Archive

Elizabeth A. Burns is the Creative and Operations Director of the The Burns Archive, which houses over one million historic photographs from the birth of photography through the atomic age. Stanley B. Burns, MD, her father, is founder of the Burns Collection and author of the groundbreaking publication Sleeping Beauty: Memorial Photography in America (1990).    Elizabeth collaborated on Sleeping Beauty II: Grief, Bereavement & The Family in Memorial Photography, American and European Traditions. Her other books include, Setting Sun: Painted Photographs of Meiji Japan, Geisha: A Photographic History, 1872-1913, The Burns Archive Medical Specialty Series - Stiffs, Skulls & Skeletons: Medical Photography and Symbolism and Mensur & Schmiss: German Dueling Societies.  Elizabeth has curated and worked on hundreds of exhibitions, publications and films on memorial photography as well as on early flight, spirit photography, criminology, Lewis Hine and the playground, African-American history, and the SS Ben Hecht.  She served as medical photo-historic consultant on the HBO/Cinemax series The Knick and Public Broadcast Station’s (PBS) Mercy Street.  Recent projects include, American Gods, Live by Night and The Big Sick.  Liz lives in New York City and actively promotes history and photography through publications, exhibitions and events.


Norwalk Historical Society Museum, 141 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT

Front entrance accessible from the Norwalk City Hall parking area at 125 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT. The Museum is in the red brick house with double blue front doors, next to the Norwalk Health Department