Allison Meier

Post image for A Burial Suit of Mushrooms that Consume Your Remains

Despite embalming and sealed caskets being a relatively new tradition in American burial, brought about by the high mortality of the Civil War, we’ve quickly become uncomfortable with our mortal decay.

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Post image for Mourners from Around the Globe Gather to Share Our Traditions of Grief

As a New York gravedigger once succinctly put it to me: “We all have dead.” No person is isolated from loss.

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Post image for Glimpsing the Evolution of Glass Lenses in Three Centuries of Microscopes

CORNING, NY — To closely inspect the evolution of the microscope, the Corning Museum of Glass is highlighting the lens-making behind the optical tool.

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Articles

An Overgrown Naval Cemetery Is Reborn as a Park

by Allison Meier on September 13, 2016

Post image for An Overgrown Naval Cemetery Is Reborn as a Park

The curving boardwalk of the new park at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is respectfully raised above the earth where the remains of unknown sailors may still be interred.

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Theaters

An Operatic Lament for the Lonely Artist

by Allison Meier on September 13, 2016

Post image for An Operatic Lament for the Lonely Artist

“When we meet the very best, we have to give up,” baritone Rod Gilfry intoned in The Loser, composer David Lang’s one-act opera that debuted last week at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

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Post image for An Unlikely East-West Collaboration in 1830s Portraits of Tumor Patients

Guangzhou, then called Canton by Westerners, was the only Chinese port open to foreign trading until the Opium Wars of the 19th century, and it became a rare hub of direct interactions between the two cultures. One of these resulted in a surprisingly moving series of paintings portraying bodies disfigured by tumors.

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Post image for How Photographs Have Shaped Our View of the National Parks

There were two prominent types of landscape photographs in the 1860s: Civil War battlefields strewn with the dead, and sweeping vistas of the West.

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Post image for A Mural Honors the Ruins of an American Indian Boarding School

CONCHO, Okla. — Overgrown grass creeps up around the decayed remains of the Concho Indian Boarding School, its faded yellow walls pocked with gaping doorways and boarded windows.

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Street

After Sunset, Phantoms of Montreal’s Past Appear

by Allison Meier on September 12, 2016

Post image for After Sunset, Phantoms of Montreal’s Past Appear

MONTRÉAL — At sunset in the oldest streets of Montréal, ghosts of the city’s past animate on its walls.

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Post image for A New Online Trove Brings Historical Silhouettes to Light

The popularity of silhouettes in the 18th and 19th centuries wasn’t only due to them being an affordable form of portraiture before the era of photography, the art also fit with popular pseudosciences like phrenology.

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