Memento mori – modern mourning jewellery Memento mori – modern mourning jewellery
Memento mori – modern mourning jewellery
© Ralph Klein/Dirk Morla, Köln
Ralph Klein/Dirk Morla


30. April 1999 – 20. June 1999

Memento mori

Modern Mourning Jewelry

Exhibition of the Forum for Jewelry and Design e.V.

Only recently, in the context of a new public discourse about death, individual artists and designers have taken up the old tradition of mourning jewelry again and show that this subject has not lost its topicality.

This is reflected in the works of the Memento mori exhibition. Within the framework of the general meeting of the Forum für Schmuck und Design e. V. (Forum for Jewelry and Design e.V.), 92 artists from 15 countries showed a total of 150 works on dying and death, loss and mourning in fall 1998, which we will show in the Museum for Sepulchral Culture Kassel starting May 1, 1999.

In their colorful diversity, the props of mourning reveal, in addition to their artistic appeal, a new way of dealing with death, mourning and remembrance. While some of the works take up old traditional symbols or materials of mourning jewelry and translate them into a new formal language, other works expand the spectrum of mourning, they refer to the many everyday deaths that everyone has already experienced, such as the loss of childhood, ideals or the end of a love.

The exhibited jewelry pieces show a wide variety in form and design, and each work is a very individual expression of the confrontation with death and one's own mortality.

In a special way, this exhibition is tied to an exhibition in our house from 1995: "Mourning Jewelry from the Baroque to the Art Déco". This exhibition was oriented towards cultural history, but at the same time dared to take a look at contemporary work, including works by the artist Kerstin Mayer, who will again be on display with new works.


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Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.

Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur

Museum für Sepulkralkultur

Weinbergstraße 25–27
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst
Kassel Documenta Stadt
Deutsche Bischofskonferenz