June 22 2018

Mütter Museum Awarded Funding for New Exhibition

The College of Physicians of Philadelphia was recently awarded a grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to support our upcoming exhibition and related programming about the catastrophic influenza pandemic of 1918-19. Click here to see the full list and project details for the 2018 awardees. As you likely remember, it was the generous Discovery Grant from the Center that enabled Mütter staff to develop a collaborative project plan that incorporated audience feedback and a transparent planning process shared with the public.

Spit Spreads Death, opening in October 2019, will be built on data from the 20,000+ death certificates of individuals who died during the 1918-19 influenza pandemic in Philadelphia. This project, developed by Mütter staff, art curator Trevor Smith, artist group Blast Theory, and historical curator Jane E. Boyd, includes a commemorative parade, art film, digital interactives, objects and photographs, personal stories, historical and public health information, and public programming. While learning about one of the most significant public health events in Philadelphia’s history, visitors will be confronted with themes that are equally relevant today.

We are excited to work with community health and arts organizations and our Fellows to explore themes around civic responsibility, contemporary preparedness, and memorialization. Community programming will be offered leading up to the exhibition, a contemporary parade will take place on the anniversary of the Liberty Loan Parade on September 28, 2019, we will work with Hidden City Philadelphia to develop walking tours in select neighborhoods, and after the exhibition opens our Center for Education staff will incorporate themes into afterschool programming, offer new Mütter Lessons for school groups, and host a related film series.

Stay tuned for more information about this exciting event on our Spit Spreads Death webpage!

Major support for Spit Spreads Death: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918–19 in Philadelphia has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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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