National Museum of Funeral History in Houston
Capturing the attention of history buffs, science junkies and classic car fanatics to art lovers, pop culture enthusiasts and political aficionados – this fascinating destination has something for everyone.
Since 1992, the National Museum of Funeral History has been an educational and historical experience like no other featuring artifacts from man’s oldest profession. Tour 30,500 square feet of exhibit space with the largest display of funeral service memorabilia, rich in history and science. It’s the place to go when you’re dying to do something different.
Permanent exhibits include:
Thanks for the Memories provides an up-close and personal look at the grand farewells of 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.
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 including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and H.W. Bush, to name just a few.
The Most Famous Burial of All Time: The Shroud of Turin
This exhibit features a certified copy of the Shroud from the Archdiocese of Turin as well as displays discussing the established history and scientific studies of the Shroud. It presents the facts about the Shroud and allows visitors to draw their own conclusions about the identity of the man of the Shroud.
Jazz Funerals of New Orleans
This exhibition focuses on the late 1800s through today, in New Orleans, Louisiana, on how a common way to bid farewell to a loved one originated with a jazz funeral or a funeral with music that is now a tradition unique to the city of New Orleans, especially among the African American community. New Orleans has a rich and fascinating history. The convergence of the French, Spanish and British who colonized the area paired with the West African tribes from the domestic slave, significantly attributed to this colorful culture.
George H.W. Bush Memorial Exhibit
This exhibit focuses on the lives of George and Barbara Bush, along with their funeral services as well as the now famous “4141” funeral train. The exhibit includes many items such as the memorial folders and tribute cards from Washington, D.C. and Houston.
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 in 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.
The History of Cremation, the funeral industry has a challenge on its hands: consumers are choosing cremation, but know little about it. They don't know the process, the possibilities for memorialization, and they don't understand cremation's history. That's why The History of Cremation exhibit is so important.
History of Mourning Photography, this exhibit explores the history of the inventors in the 1800s of different types of postmortem photographs and attitudes toward death displaying many original photographs as well as copies to show examples of photography.
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.
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.
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.
Houston, TX 77090