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Restorative Art

Restorative Art

Restorative art today is the process of reconstructing or restoration, especially facial and cranium features, of bodies that are badly damaged from accident or disease, for presentation in the casket at the funeral.

The major mortuary colleges offer courses in Restorative Art or Restoration Embalming and it takes serious training to become accomplished. Some funeral home directors may hand over this type of work to specialists.

And this is what the film is all about training the students in this speciality. The scenes show the students working hands on with the instructors as they are shown various restoration techniques.

Strangely enough, if you put the words restorative art in your favorite search engine, you come up with as many links for embalming as for restoring works of art. As I considered my luck in running across these two cannisters of film, I also considered how it relates to my interest in art.

Watching the footage it became apparent that not only did the successful student need to know anatomy, they also needed to be an expert sculptor! The up close and personal view of the students at work, gruesome as it is, gave me a newfound respect for morticians. Their job is tough, as they must have a profound spiritual connection to both the living and the dead, and possess scientific and artistic skills. A strange connection to art.

I debated what to do with the films, deciding finally that they should be converted to digital format. I figured that the historical and technical aspects of this 1938 footage were bound to interest morticians, and no doubt pique the curiosity of many mortals.

Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science

Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science has been setting the standard in mortuary science education since 1882, making it the nations oldest school of its kind.

Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science

The Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science offers an extensive program designed to prepare students for the many challenges they will encounter as funeral service professionals.

Worsham College of Mortuary Science, founded in 1911, is a private institution offering an Associates Degree in twelve months..