Talk:Post-mortem photography

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WikiProject History of photography (Rated Start-class)
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WikiProject Death (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
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Merge?[edit]

I dont' see much of a difference between this article and Mourning portrait. Would anyone support a merge of the two? Rklawton 18:20, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Be my guest. I added a personal family image with a shrine to the departed included in the family portrait. But we really need to get a true post-mortem photo of a deceased individual as representative of the topic. Unfortunately, I don't have one in my collection.--Mactographer 09:50, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Rewrite[edit]

Hey, I did a rewrite of the article and added a different photograph. Please let me know if you have any comments/concerns. I was thinking about keeping the original photo on the page as an example of an alternate type of photo, but the article is still fairly short and I felt it would just crowd the page. Thoughts? —dustmite 03:11, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

External Link "Ancestry.com"[edit]

hey there, i dont know how that link got into the references, i moved it to external links, but im not sure if it belongs to here since its a collection of birth/death/family records.--Röhnrad 05:03, 10 October 2012 (GMT+1)

Eliminate the Urban Legend[edit]

The reference to a stand or framework that held a dead body for photographing-- the part linking to footnote number 5 (which is a dead link) should be removed to avoid feeding into an Urban Legend that is currently permitting some eBay vendors to say any old photograph where evidence of the stand photographers used to hold the subject still long enough for the picture to be taken indicates the person was dead at the time. And they can point to this reference as "proof". The fact is that a framework was used on living people. The image of the deceased person propped in a chair is about as life-like as photographers could get. There is a good depiction of the use of this type of stand on a living person at the beginning of the film Creation. If such a stand was ever used on the dead, it would have been a rare occurrence with poor (non-lifelike) result.

I hesitate to delete anything from someone else's article and what I've said here is "original research", but if I run into anything I can cite, I may fix this myself. Otherwise, I hope someone else will at least remove the reference leading to the no-longer-existing footnote 5. Thanks for listening. Kathrynklos (talk) 15:40, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

It has been years since others posted here so I have gone ahead and removed the offending sentence from this article. Victorian people did NOT pose people using "a frame" or do anything more drastic than place someone in a chair, appearing thoroughly dead. There is much myth about this "out there" and substantiating this myth in this place only serves to put money into the pockets of eBay sellers who know they can get more for an image if they say the person in the picture is dead. The end-part of this article is really lovely and totally accurate about 19th century people. But I took this out (and the link is dead anyway): Adults were more commonly posed in chairs or even braced on specially-designed frames.[1]

Adults weren't commonly posed in chairs-- they were more commonly on a bed. Thanks for listening. Kathrynklos (talk) 22:19, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

I tweaked a bit so that anyone researching this subject might understand that the stands which are sometimes apparent in old photographs do not indicate the person was dead. EBay sellers have done a great job creating this myth, and have even created a facebook page (or group) wherein they say the "Brady stand" is proof positive that the person was a corpse... it is even claimed that Victorians drilled holes in the heads of their loved ones, strung them up marionette-style, took pictures and then photoshopped-out the ropes. Shades of P.T. Barnum and cliches re "a fool and his money"... Kathrynklos (talk) 17:19, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I removed the external link to something titled "The Strangest Tradition" because it contained bogus information. Kathrynklos (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 01:08, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
I changed the caption under the picture of Victorian parents with their daughter, which originally stated that the daughter was dead. Those who collect these images believe it more likely the daughter is in the process of dying but is not dead yet. Kathrynklos (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 02:02, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
Decided to change the left-side picture altogether, as there is much controversy re the other (whether the woman is indeed dead or merely on the way out). The picture of the baby which I posted is very typical of post-mortem images. Kathrynklos (talk) 16:55, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Memento mori[edit]

I am removing the alternate name "memento mori" because in an (admittedly quick) survey of the 19th-century literature, I have seen no cases where post-mortem photographs were called a memento mori. In the 19th century, the typical symbols of memento mori were skull and crossbones etc. --Macrakis (talk) 15:12, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Memento Mori: Victorian Death Photos". August 28, 2009.