Hairy Secrets: Human Relic as Memory Object in Victorian Mourning Jewelry

This series will explore in lectures and a workshop the history of the preservation of human remains for reasons sacred and profane, culminating in the flowering of Victorian hair art mourning jewelry, or jewelry which incorporates the hair of the beloved dead.

Lecture One: “Speaking Reliquaries” and Christian Death Rituals (January 17, 8:00 PM)
Lecture Two: The History of the Memento Mori and Death’s Head Iconography (January 24, 8:00 PM)
Lecture Three: The Victorian Love Affair with Death and the Art of Mourning Hair Jewelry and Morbid Anatomy Going Away Party (February 8, 8:00 PM)
Workshop: Victorian Hair Jewelry Workshop with Master Jeweler Karen Bachmann (January 13, 12:00 PM & February 5, 7:00 PM)

Karen Bachmann is a fine jeweler with over 25 years experience, including several years on staff as a master jeweler at Tiffany & Co. She is a Professor in the Jewelry Design Dept at Fashion Institute of Technology as well as the School of Art & Design at Pratt Institute. She has recently completed her MA in Art History at SUNY Purchase with a thesis entitled “Hairy Secrets; Human Relic as Memory Object in Victorian Mourning Jewelry”. In her downtime she enjoys collecting biological specimens, amateur taxidermy and punk rock.

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