Green-Wood cemetery

(Sold Out) The Victorian Cult of Mourning

Saturday, June 10, 12:00 pm5:00 pm

This event is sold out. Make sure you never miss out on tickets again! Green-Wood members get access to tickets weeks before the general public. Join today.

Become an Expert in the Fascinating Arts, Crafts, and Culture of Victorian Mourning

victorian-cult-of-mourningNo one knew how to grieve like the Victorians. The elaborate and often downright weird rituals of the era – inspired by Queen Victoria who publicly mourned her husband’s death for forty years – provide a fascinating look at a culture for whom death was ever present. In the United States, losses from the Civil War eclipsed 600,000 deaths, or two percent of the entire population. Death was everywhere. Mourning was an art form. Widows dressed in black from head to toe for an entire year. Household mirrors were covered and clocks were stopped when a death occurred. Women created and wore intricate jewelry made from the hair of the deceased. And rural cemeteries were established across America. Green-Wood is one such example, which by the 1860’s drew over 500,000 visitors a year who came to see the cemetery’s collection of ornate monuments and mausoleums.

Join us for an afternoon symposium devoted to exploring the arts and culture of Victorian mourning with illustrated talks and show-and-tell presentations of period artifacts. Speakers will include Dr. Stanley Burns, M.D., founder of the Burns Archive of photographic history and professor of medicine and psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center, Green-Wood Historian Jeff Richman, Evan Michelson, co-owner of Obscura Antiques & Oddities and host of the Science Channel’s Oddities, funeral director Amy Cunningham, Jessica Glasscock, Research Associate for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Death Becomes Her” Exhibition, and more!

This symposium is organized in partnership with Joanna Ebenstein, co-founder of the former Museum of Morbid Anatomy and Laetitia Barbier, former librarian of the Museum.


12:00-12:30: Introductions by Harry Weil, Manager of Programs at Green-Wood Cemetery and Joanna Ebenstein and Laetitia Barbier of the recently shuttered Morbid Anatomy Museum

12:30-1:10: An Illustrated History of Green-Wood Cemetery with Jeff Richman, Historian of Green-Wood Cemetery

1:10-2:00: Victorian Hair Jewelry and Artifact Art Show and Tell with Evan Michelson of Obscura Antiques and TV’s Oddities and master jeweler and hair artist Karen Bachmann

Lunch Break

3:00-3:30: Mourning at the Museum: An overview of the recent exhibition Death Becomes Her, focusing on the evolution of mourning attire from 1815 to 1915, with Jessica Glasscock, Research Associate at The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

3:30-4:30: Dr. Stanley B. Burns, Founder of The Burns Archive and author of “Sleeping Beauty,” in conversation with Joanna Ebenstein, founder of Morbid Anatomy

4:30-5:00: Dramatic readings of 19th century condolence letters overseen by Funeral Director Amy Cunningham

5:00-7:00 Thematic music and refreshments provided by Friese Undine

$20 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $25 for nonmembers

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As Close as It Gets to a 19th-Century Pleasure Garden
A sort of throwback 19th-century pleasure garden and theater is popping up at the site of William Niblo’s mausoleum. You’ll lounge out and picnic on the grass as fire-eaters, contortionists and harp players do their respective things all around you. After the show, you can wander around by candlelight. Then, and only then, will your night be complete.
Jul 16, 7-10pm, $32-$37, Green-Wood, entrance at 25th St and 5th Ave, Brooklyn, 718-210-3080



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The following information comes courtesy of Boroughs of The Dead, concerning upcoming Autumn events in which they are involved:

Uncover the hidden symbolism behind 19th century Halloween customs


Join Boroughs of the Dead founder Andrea Janes as she presents an illustrated lecture at the Merchant’s House Museum. She’ll discuss how the quaint-seeming customs we often associate with Hallowe’en in 19th century America betray a primeval urge to indulge our wild, albeit hidden, natures. So unlace those corsets and buy your tickets here!


Ramble among graves in the city’s oldest rural cemetery


Among the nearly 600,000 graves in Green-Wood Cemetery one can find an almost unfathomable number of human stories… and because we’re Boroughs of the Dead, we’ve discovered those that deal with Murder and Mayhem, Scandal and Spiritualism. With a focus on the scandalous and lesser-known inhabitants of Green-Wood, on this tour you’ll see the final resting places of femmes fatales, revolutionaries, spiritualists, gangsters, artists and murderers. Click here to buy tickets.

Remember Edgar Allan Poe on the anniversary of his death


On October 7th, for ONE NIGHT ONLY, we bring back our annual Edgar Allan Poe memorial tour with The Fever Called Living: Edgar Allan Poe in Greenwich Village. Step into the Greenwich Village of the 1840s, where Poe lived and worked at the height of his fame — before plunging irrevocably into the final, abysmal chapter of his short life. This is the city’s only walking tour endorsed by the curator of the Poe Cottage at Fordham, who declares there isno better way to mark the anniversary of Poe’s passingin New York City. PLUS! This year we’re giving away Blu-rays and movie tickets to new and classic Poe adaptations — stay tuned for more details! Click here to buy tickets.

Hear the ghost stories of Brooklyn Bridge


We’re teaming up with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy on Wednesday, October 21st at 6:30pm for a special one-hour highlights tour of Haunted Brooklyn Heights. This tour will provide a sampling of some of the ghastly and frightening tales nestled within Brooklyn’s oldest neighborhood. And full-length versions of our regular Haunted Brooklyn Heights tour will run throughout October. Click here to buy tickets.

Explore the city’s sacred open spaces at dusk


Join us for a twilight stroll with The Magic and Mysticism of Central Park as we explore the mystical and spiritual side of the Park. Discover the influence of Victorian-era spiritual revivalist movements on the landscape of the park, the secret and surprising story of the park’s 3,500-year-old Egyptian obelisk, the mythical imagery of the lakes, ponds, and gardens, and more, as you stroll through the darkening park on a dusky autumn night.

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Murder & Mayhem Trolley Ride
November 14, 1 PM
Green-Wood Cemetery

The Halloween spirit has been in full effect since Labor Day, but this tour will make sure it stays strong ’til it’s almost turkey day. A mid-November trolley ride through massive Green-Wood Cemetery will allow you to explore the most haunted spots as you visit the final resting places of victims that died from the Brooklyn Theater fire, the Malbone Street train crash, the Morro Castle Disaster, and more.

$20│Get Tickets

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An exhibition telling the stories of 20 of Green-Wood’s permanent residents who contributed to the war effort, featuring photographs, letters, swords, stereo views, and other historic objects. Noon–6 pm.

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NYAC Exclusive: Private Tour of Green-Wood Cemetery & Catacombs (Sun)
Join New York Adventure Club for a special private tour of Green-Wood Cemetery in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, as we visit notable graves, sculptures, and mausoleums, before heading down into the 30 vault catacombs built in 1838.
$24. Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th St.…

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Sunday, August 24, 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Battle of Brooklyn Day at Green-Wood

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn

A full 238 years ago the Battle of Brooklyn turned up the soil on land that is now a part of Green-Wood Cemetery. Fought in 1776, it was the first battle to occur after Americans signed the Declaration of Independence. That’s why, more than two centuries later, we still commemorate that day right in this very spot. Actors bring the soldiers and colonists to life starting at 12:30 p.m., and visitors are encouraged to talk with them throughout the day. Then, everyone marches together, along with The Regimental Band of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, to Battle Hill for a ceremony to honor those who fought. Admission is free.…

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Fire jugglers, trapeze artists, opera singers and more will be on hand for this Saturday’s A Night at Niblo’s Garden in front of 19th-century theater legend William Niblo’s mausoleum. (7 p.m.; Cost: $35, Green-Wood Historic Fund and Brooklyn Historical Society members $30, $35 for non-members; Fifth Ave. at 25th St., Brooklyn).
Prizes will be awarded for best period attire and most authentic picnic (think pigeon pies and whiskey punch).
Venue phone: 718-768-7300
Venue website:green-wood.com
Subway: R to 25th St
Event phone: 718-210-3080
Event website: green-wood.com/toursevents…

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There couldn’t be a more perfect setting to stage The Spoon River Project than Green-Wood Cemetery. It’s based on The Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, in which the residents of a town, all deceased, spill their secrets. There are only four performances left: tonight through Saturday at 8:30pm and Sunday at 4pm. Tickets are $30 in advance. …

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