Though many fairy-tale bodies belong to the realm of the marvelous, some have real-world counterparts.
This exhibition explores the biology, pathology, and cultural aspects of skin from both a historical and contemporary angle.
Open February 12, 2016 | Upper level of Mütter Museum
BLOOD WORK is a new series by artist Jordan Eagles based on the various elemental qualities of blood and copper, as well as works in blood dust and gauze. In the presence of light, the works vibrate iridescent reds, crimsons, oranges, browns, and black and cast shadows, projecting an intense glow. These effects make the works appear as if they are illuminated from within.
This exhibition premiered the Quay Brothers’ film commissioned by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Mütter Museum. Entitled Through the Weeping Glass: On the Consolations of Life Everlasting, the film and the exhibition in the Mütter Gallery focused on remarkable people longing to comprehend both the unusual and the ordinary. Highlighted are therapeutic procedures, devices, and etchings that are both beautiful and poetically evocative.
Some of the first written accounts of medicine come from the Egyptians and Babylonians, with the oldest dating to circa 1800 BCE. This exhibition focused on the ancient texts and tools used to treat the myriad health issues threatening men and women during the ancient transition to complex civilizations.
This exhibit highlighted artists who create traditional ceramic figurative work that explores the psychology of our biological existence. It featured work by a dozen artists interpreting the documentation and display of medical specimens and their conditions in three-dimensional objects from clay.
Lead serves no biological purpose in the human body, but since antiquity people have ingested, applied, and attempted to cure themselves of disorders with lead. The Devouring Element explored the consequences of people’s evolution alongside lead and its harmful effect on human health.
The Mütter Museum’s contribution to The Philadelphia Year of Evolution celebrating the two-hundredth anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth was the exhibit The Evolution of Birth. It explored physiological changes that occurred while early humans transitioned from quadrupeds to bipeds. As humans evolved into being able to walk on two feet, the width of the birth canal was reduced. These anatomical changes meant that a human woman usually required the assistance of another person in order to more safely give birth.
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.