Mourning clothing worn by 19th century American widows is the subject of a new exhibit at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum.
Most of America's mourning culture was taken from the English, which allowed for a period of mourning of a few months for private reflection after a loved one died. Black was the color considered as mourning wear.
The American Civil War left many women without their husbands. Whole towns were full of widows, and widowhood could last for years. Following the 1865 assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln elected to wear mourning clothes until her own death in 1882.
This exhibit was curated and is presented by the Costume Council of the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum. It opens with a reception on Sunday, April 3 from 3-5 p.m. For more information, call 688-7889.