Postmortem Baby Photo
A photograph of a dead infant with painted eyes and cheeks. The invention of photography enabled the documentation of loved ones in life and in death. Death portraits like this one were just as popular as sitting for a wedding portrait or a family portrait. Mortuary photography provided a level of comfort to the family and possibly captured the only image of a loved one. The addition of painted facial features, as seen on this photograph, was common to make the deceased look alive.
This unassuming black metal container is one of the most macabre items in our collection. The lined box was used to transport dead infants to the funeral home.