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Opening March 2017
March 9: Get exclusive access at Imperfecta's Opening Night
April 11: Join us for a silent movie screening of Phantom of the Opera and a special lecture on Imperfecta
Using artifacts from The Historical Medical Library and Mütter Museum collections, this new exhibition examines the shifting perceptions about abnormal human development, from fear and wonder to curiosity and clinical science.
Imperfecta introduces the subject of teratology with a look at prodigy books. The early modern concept of monster is explored through these contemporary texts, which illustrate the co-existence of supernatural and natural influences on physical anomalies.
Over time, curiosity with imperfect bodies led to the science of embryology. Modern medicine has proven that genetic mutations and exposure to toxins are to blame for abnormal births, not divine influence. However, simply because something – such as abnormal human development – has been studied and classified by medical science, does not mean that it cannot touch the deepest part of our psyche, making us question what it means to be imperfect.
This exhibit replaces Vesalius On The Verge: The Book and The Body
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.