Dying, Death, Burial and Mourning


1. Dying, Death, Burial: Just as the term “sepulchral culture" (lat. sepulcrum) encompasses a wide range of topics connected with dying and death, so does the section Dying, Death, Burial and Mourning present a kind of cycle of dying and mourning with the help of its exhibits.

Here one finds answers to the question of how people of earlier times dealt with death and prepared themselves for their own demise, how burials were carried out, and how grief, remembrance and commemoration found expression. Accordingly, works of memento mori are on display, everyday objects which serve as a reminder of earthly finiteness and an admonition to lead a godly life. In addition, original items are exhibited which played an important role in the face of death, e.g. crosses, relics, and vessels used to administer the last rites; there are also objects used in preparing corpses, coffins, urns and hearses. At the end of this section, there is a display of articles of mourning and remembrance, including clothes and jewellery worn by the bereaved, funeral crowns, wreath boxes, hair pictures and commemorative coins.

In the sub-sections of this exhibition area, objects from contemporary art and product design are placed alongside the historic exhibits. This not only demonstrates how individual items of sepulchral culture have changed, but also throws light on the different ways of dealing with dying and death over the course of centuries.