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Houston, The Art in Death

Apr 3, 2008
Of course, your first question will be, how can there possibly be an art in Death. When you really think about the funerary process, it is truly an art. The individuals that work in funeral parlors take the bodies of those who have sometimes suffered unimaginable injuries and make them appear whole again, and often better than they did before their death. Though it seems a bit morbid, for the peace of mind of the family members, this is a necessary artistic outlet.

Short of attending a funeral or learning to be a mortician, one could not possibly hope to see the details of this art. That is unless you choose to take a vacation trip to Houston Texas, home of the National Museum of Funeral History. Of course, being a major vacation site, there are a number of fun sites to take in while you are here, but if you have ever wanted to know the truth behind the funeral veil, then you need to take time out to spend a few hours at this place.

There are tons of fascinating artifacts and exhibits to see here. One of these is the coffin exhibit where you see a variety of real world caskets that have been used over the centuries. As you go through looking at these various styles and kinds of coffins, you will begin to notice how the funerary process has slowly evolved over hundreds of years, yet still have a few aspects in common. There are caskets of all types here, even including a glass one.

For the history buff, there is the actual original John F. Kennedy's eternal flame grave marker. Most people have heard of this marker, as it is a small burning torch that has been kept lit since the burial of this former President of the United States. What most people are not aware of is that the torch that burns at Kennedy's grave today is not the same one that existed for the first quarter of a century after his death. In the late 1990's, the torch was replaced with a newer more high tech and resilient one. The original one sits in the National Museum of Funeral History.

There are active exhibits here too, such as the Civil War Embalming exhibit. In this somewhat disturbing, yet fascinating exhibit, you can view a life size scene of a Civil War doctor as he goes about using whatever he can find in the area as makeshift tools to embalm the body of a dead soldier. As you go through one fascinating exhibit after another you will find yourself amazed at how much about the funerary process and history that you did not know. There is even a Fantasy Coffin exhibit where you will see coffins sculpted to look like everything from chickens to automobiles.

Give in to that morbid curiosity that everyone manages to keep hidden well beneath the surface of his or her personality. On your very next Texas road trip or vacation getaway, drop by the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston Texas.
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