Memento Mori – Old Black and White Photos of Dead Children

Memento Mori - Old Black and White Photos of Dead Children

A few decades ago it was customary for some families to take their deceased child to a photographer, prop it up in a studio so it looks as close to being alive as possible and take a picture of it as their only lasting memory of a child. The practice was known as Memento Mori. Some photography studio had frames designed to pose dead babies up and resident make-up artists who specialized in painting open eyes on the eyelids of dead children to make them appear as though their eyes were open and still alive.

This is a collection of Memento Mori – old, black and white photos from people’s old photo albums showcasing the dead children taken either in a photography studio or by a photographer on site during funeral.

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16 thoughts on “Memento Mori – Old Black and White Photos of Dead Children

  1. This is incredibly sad to see. Really bought a tear to my eyes. How awful to loose as child so young. I have a 21 month old son and i would be devistated if i lost him. Note to all: Take loads of photos of your kids whilst alive. poor families.. x

    • Trust me. I do. A lot. My 4 month old baby girl’s pictures are all over my facebook page. Everyone has to embrace the awesomeness of my little girl on there. LOL. Shame those children didn’t get to grow up. And they do look like they’re sleeping.

  2. i still have my dead kid, he doesnt coast any money to feed or buy cloths and he never complains hes better then the liveing one. now if i could only get the other one to,,,,,,ah some other day.

  3. we have one of those momento mori photos in our house up on the wall…..my grandparents lost a baby daughter back in the 1920’s and posed for a photograph with her in her coffin….it’s actually a beautiful picture, the baby aunt i never knew looks so peaceful and asleep.

  4. When my mom, aunt and I were going through my great grandmas house I found a pine box filled with memento mori’s she seemed to have collected every single one of family and friends. I could have looked at them all day. She also wrote the names of the child and parents on the back. I wish I knew what happened to the box.

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