R.I.P. - 200 years of Funeral Culture

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R.I.P. - 200 years of Funeral Culture in Flanders

The last vigil, dying at home, the coffins made by the village carpenter and so on – it’s as though traditional Flemish funeral culture itself died a silent death during the course of the 20th century. But the exhibition R.I.P. 200 Years of Funeral Culture in Flanders aims to safeguard these old traditions and reminiscences for the future, at the same time illustrating how and why they have changed so radically over the past decades.

In the context of the Province of East Flanders’ Museum voor Vlaamse Sociale Strijd (Museum for Flemish Social Struggle), the Liberal Archive at the Caermersklooster would like to introduce you to some of the ancient and modern rituals surrounding the complex business of dying, being buried and remembrance.

Take yourself on a journey through the traditional customs for dealing with death and experience how these traditions were brought into question and to some extent overturned during the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. The exhibition also examines how new rituals have made their entrance from secular and other sources. And how the Catholic funeral culture managed to reinvent itself so that its relevance would not be lost.
Today, in the 21st century, universal themes such as bidding farewell to the departed and death itself continue to agitate and disturb people, both in art and in reality. The exhibition offers a far-reaching look at our material and immaterial heritage, ancient and modern art, stories and reminiscences, gathered from all over the country, with a focus on the history of East Flanders.

There is also a publication of the same name on sale at the exhibition and in better bookshops. In it, seven authors illuminate and discuss a range of themes related to funerary matters past and present in Flanders.
23.04.2015 → 14.06.2015
Opening hours
Open 10 am to 5 pm
(last entry 4:30 pm)
Closed Mondays

Provinciaal Cultuurcentrum Caermersklooster
Vrouwebroersstraat 6 – 9000 Ghent
tel. +32 (0)9 269 29 10

Bookings for guided tours can be made via vzw Gandante
+32 (0)9 375 31 61
De Gentse Gidsen
+32 (0)9 233 07 72


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