Reviving Mourning Culture: Status in Victorian Mourning Material Culture and Its Resurgence


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This thesis investigates the concept of Victorian Mourning Culture and how its resurgence has initiated new conversations about status and material culture. Material culture, or the study of objects through a social historical lens, helps scholars and other researchers properly situate these objects into proper context. This research thesis discusses changes of social conventions and material culture and introduces the stages of mourning. Specialized clothing and jewelry were created specifically for the display of the stages of mourning. These aspects of material culture provide a visual analysis of a range of styles of Victorian mourning jewelry and discuss the significance of mourning artifacts. Museums have created recent exhibitions on Victorian Mourning culture and 21st century scholars. Artists still utilize the same methods from over a hundred years ago when creating hair jewelry based on the practices of Victorians. This has created a resurgence of Victorian Mourning culture in contemporary society. The information collected for this thesis was gathered from the primary and secondary sources on Victorian mourning culture. The purpose for this research is to highlight the everyday practices of a forgotten culture who chose to embrace all aspects of the natural occurrences of death and mourning.