Selected Exhibitions Past and Present

Broken Bodies, Suffering Spirits: Injury, Death, and Healing in Civil War Philadelphia

September 2013—September 2019

No Civil War battles were fought in or near Philadelphia, but the war came here in other ways. On trains and steamboats, tens of thousands of wounded and sick soldiers arrived in the city, to be cared for in local hospitals. 

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Blood Work

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. 

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Through the Weeping Glass

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. 

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Corporeal Manifestations

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. 

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The Evolution of Birth

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. 

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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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