Sept. 23, 2018

Memento Mori Drawing Workshop


Join us for a special drawing workshop examining memento mori and vanitas still life.

Memento mori translates from Latin to mean "remember that you must die". A memento mori is an artwork intended to remind the viewer of the fleeting nature of earthly pleasures, the fragility of human life, and their own mortality.

By intertwining and juxtaposing beauty with death, artists in the West have been grappling with mortality for hundreds of years. The tradition of vanitas paintings - still lifes depicting goods and luxuries overshadowed by the reminder of death - contains complex symbologies with layered meanings.

We will learn about the history of vanitas and their symbolism in an illustrated presentation by artist Cassie Kimbrough, and draw an array of themed memento mori and vanitas still lifes using specimens, instruments, and objects rarely on view from the Mütter collection.

This is an intermediate level class and due to space restrictions it's a sketchbook-only workshop. Class limited to 25 students. Museum admission is included.

NOTE: Please bring your own supplies.

Recommended Materials:
-Sketchbook (no smaller than 10x7", no larger than 11x14”)
-Graphite sticks 4b, 6b, 8 or 9b
-Graphite Pencils 2b, 4b, 6b, 8b, and ebony
-Pencil Sharpener – Must come with enclosed container for shavings!


Cassie Kimbrough is an artist whose practice incorporates Memento Mori not only as inspiration but also as a catalyst for interest in the macabre side of art history. She is an Education Programs Assistant at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and Mütter Museum and is currently pursuing a degree in Fine Arts from Moore College of Art.

Meredith Sellers is the Arts and Accessibility Coordinator for the Center for Education and Public Initiatives at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and Mütter Museum. She is an artist, educator, and writer, devising and teaching cross-disciplinary arts curriculum and workshops for the Mütter Museum. She has an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Questions? Email 
Event registration is non-refundable, but is transferable.


The Mütter Museum helps the public appreciate the mysteries and beauty of the human body while understanding the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease.

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