Sentimental Ornamentation converges historical Victorian mourning practices and contemporary renderings, in order to consider complex codes of death practices and cultural obsessions with jewelry, clothing, and mementos associated with mourning.
"Throughout history, many traditions and rituals have been observed in relation to death and dying. In England, the death of Prince Albert in 1861 plunged Queen Victoria into a state of elaborate mourning that lasted for forty years.
The Queen's actions gave rise to a complex code of death practices and prompted a cultural obsession with special jewelry and clothing associated with mourning as well as mementos of the deceased. As photography was still in its infancy, these objects became a way to honor and remember loved ones on a daily basis. Clothing and jewelry channeled personal grief through a visible expression, giving way to the flowing patterns, intricate details, and excessive ornamentation we recognize today as motifs of the Victorian Era. Over the last decade, the era's impact on art and design has resurfaced time and time again." - Michele Bosak, Curator of Exhibitions
Above Image: Renée Zettle-Sterling | Object of Mourning: Veil #5 and 6
Image Credit: Bree Mullen