Morbid Curiosity in Museums and Historic Sites
Join Death Party Philadelphia on Sunday, February 24th, as we welcome Beth Savastana, Program and Volunteer Coordinator at Laurel Hill Cemetery! Drawing from her years of academic and professional experience, Beth will make the case for museum and historic sites using the display of human remains and other “morbid” content to generate interest and revenue. While acknowledging the valuable educational and cultural benefits associated with putting death on display, Beth will also examine the ethical debates that continue to surround these types of exhibitions. This meet is a must for any card-carrying Laurel Hill and Mütter Museum member, so don’t miss it!
Beth Savastana has embraced death starting at a young age with an obsession of mummies and archaeology. This led her to receive a B.A. in Archaeology from Lycoming College. Two years later she continued her education with an M.A. in Museum Studies from The University of Leicester in England. While there she chose her dissertation topic on museums derived from former medical collections and the educational and financial benefits that can come from displaying them today. Serendipitously, she began working at Laurel Hill Cemetery in 2014 and has been living her thesis since by helping the public get pumped about death in Victorian times and encouraging all to view cemeteries as beautiful museums…not places of fear and dread.
If there’s one thing we know with absolute certainty here at Death Party Philadelphia, it’s that try as you might, you can’t outrun death. But we’re certainly willing to try!
We’re at Laurel Hill Cemetery for their RIP5k tonight! Our plan is to get through our 3.11m or die trying. Soul Effigies unite!
The semiotics of the bone orchard will be the subject of our May meeting- this time as a group field trip to the Laurel Hill Cemetery. DPP founding member John Haldeman will giving a short presentation on symbols commonly found on headstones, followed by a scavenger hunt to see what symbols we can find at Laurel Hill.
We’ll be meeting at the main entrance of the park around 2pm;
Laurel Hill Cemetery
3822 Ridge Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19132
In the case of inclement weather we’ll be meeting at our usual location for John’s presentation and maybe a movie.
(Special thanks to the Laurel Hill Cemetery for allowing our group to meet up on their grounds. You can find out more information on supporting LHC here: https://thelaurelhillcemetery.org/support)
A group of Death Party Philadelphia members went on a field trip today (04.29.18) to Laurel Hill Cemetery for a guided tour highlighting some of the Egyptian symbolism throughout the bone orchard. For some of us, it was our first time at Laurel Hill but we’ve already got an encore planned for next month’s meeting. Stay tuned for the RSVP!