Places of longing Places of longing
Places of longing
© Museum für Sepulkralkultur, Kassel, Bildarchiv
Photo: Frank Hellwig


19. January 2002 – 7. April 2002

The cemetery in art

Preview of the Exhibition Project in Spring 2003 and Presentation of the Research Project

On February 1, 2002, the Museum for Sepulchral Culture opens the exhibition "Places of Longing – The Cemetery in Art". At the same time this is the starting signal for a research project in which the pictorial evidence will be used more intensively to research the development of the cemetery and to answer specific questions. We are still insufficiently informed about the appearance, the real shape of the cemeteries in the time before 1900.

In detail, it is the following questions we would like to answer:

1. In what context do views of cemeteries or parts of cemeteries appear in art? What is the reason for their representation? How is the cemetery accordingly received and perceived?

2. What do the pictorial representations reveal about the layout of the gravesites?

2a) Since when do grave signs exist and in what form? Which materials and design elements were used?

2b) Since when has there been gardening and maintenance of graves? Which plants were used?

3) Does the development of the visual appearance of cemeteries and gravesites also show a development and change in people's attitude towards dying, death and mourning?

The basis for the research project are above all graphics from the collection of the Museum for Sepulchral Culture. A selection will be shown in the exhibition. The majority of these are pictures that are being presented to the public for the first time, including numerous new acquisitions that have been acquired in recent years in view of the research project.

The exhibition is intended as a "preview" of a much more extensive presentation of cemetery pictures at the end of the research project, which is planned for the end of 2003, beginning of 2004. We hope that by then we will not only be able to answer the questions posed, but also show a representative cross-section of the artistic reception of the cemetery in Germany.


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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