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GARDNER & WELLS: Memento Mori (“Remember that you will Die”)

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A Mort Photo of a Victorian Era Family.

We take photography for granted. Our lives are filled with “selfies” and the convenience and ability never before possible in the History of our world, to record and remember our family, community and context.

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A Mort Photo of a deceased young girl.

That was no so in the Victorian Era. Photography started in the 1830’s and was an expensive and laborious process. As the technology progressed, memorializing the dead became quite common, especially as the child mortality rate was high and photographs could not be afforded previous to the dreadful event. This was the family’s last chance to remember their loved ones. They would never see them again. And so a final photo…a Mort Photo.

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A Mort Photo hangs in the Gardner & Wells Funeral Home.

At GARDNER & WELLS Funeral Home, Mort Photos are honorably displayed in its hallways, remembering the dead of a bygone era. These deceased and their legacy in the history of the town are invited to linger.

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A Husband holds his deceased Wife.

Today, we look at this practice as gruesome—morbid, but with the extant subjects of our modern incessant pics and the advancement of our technology, are we forgetting something?

Memento Mori…Remember that you will die.

With fear,
Sarah Kreutz

View Mort Photos in the GARDNER & WELLS Funeral Home in Episode 2 of the Animated Web Series.