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National Museum of Funeral History

National Museum of Funeral History in Houston

Since 1992, the National Museum of Funeral History has been an educational experience like no other and offers something for everyone. Tour 30,500 square feet of exhibit space with the largest display of funeral service memorabilia, rich in history and science.

With 15 permanent exhibits, the museum offers an unrivaled, educational and historical experience, including:

The History of Cremation, a joint project developed with CANA, Cremation Association of North America, tells the full-circle story of cremation in America: from chronicling its birth in Pennsylvania to demonstrating a step-by-step modern cremation process and illuminating the seemingly endless possibilities for memorialization.

Thanks for the Memories provides an up-close and personal look at the grand farewells for some of the world’s most iconic figures. See authentic printed memorial folders and memorabilia used in the funeral services and burials of Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Frank Sinatra, Jim Henson, Whitney Houston, Elizabeth Taylor, John Wayne and others.

Celebrating the Lives and Deaths of the Popes delves into the elaborate elements of Papal funerals. Get a glimpse of life inside the Vatican. This extensive exhibit provides visitors with a true sense of attending a Pope’s funeral.

Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos explores the exquisite artistry and touching tributes of this religious celebration honoring the souls of the departed, which is practiced by Meso-American cultures.

History of Embalming tracks the methods of preserving human remains through the centuries, from the Ancient Egyptians who developed embalming more than 5000 years ago to the utter necessity of preserving bodies during the Civil War.

19th Century Mourning, visitors can see authentic mourning clothing for women and children and testaments to the strict rules for widows of that era.

Presidential Funerals connects visitors with key moments in U.S. history by exploring the museum’s extensive display of artifacts and original items used in the state funerals of some of America’s great presidents.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, learn more about this poignant tomb located within Arlington National Cemetery, which contains the remains of unidentified American soldiers from World Wars I and II as well as the Korean Conflict, and is considered one of the most revered sites in the U.S.

Reflections on the Wall presents a series of images from the dedication of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Direct from the Smithsonian Institution, this collection captures the significance of that day in American history.

Coffins and Caskets of the Past, what is the difference between a casket and a coffin? Discover which is which. This exhibit features some of the most unique containers ever created to hold the dead.

Historical Hearses, this collection of rare funeral service vehicles traces the evolution of funerary customs, from the elegant horse-drawn carriages of the 19th century to the actual hearses used in the funeral of Grace Kelly and the state funeral services of U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald R. Ford.

A Life Well Lived: Fantasy Coffins from Ghana, this unique exhibit displays 12 artfully sculpted coffins, each uniquely created to capture the essence of the departed—whether a character trait, an occupation, a symbol of one’s standing the community or what they hope to achieve in the afterlife.

Japanese Funerals, lavish and elaborate, the memorial ceremonies of Japan are among the most expensive in the world. This exhibit provides visitors with a rare opportunity to explore some of the fascinating customs surrounding death in the Far East.

9/11 and Fallen Heroes Tribute, this exhibit memorializes the men and women who lost their lives in this terrible event and pays tribute to the first responders who bravely served on that fateful September day.

Marsellus Casket Company, founded in 1872 and regarded as the “Rolls Royce of caskets, Marsellus Casket Company has a long history of making fine wood caskets including ones for notables such as Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, Truman and Reagan, Governor Nelson Rockefeller and sports legends Vince Lombardi and Mickey Mantle. 

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National Museum of Funeral History