Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

All images found on "Rip The Skull's" New Years Postcards Flickr photoset.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Shanghai Natural History Museum, Shanghai, China

I just received an email from Morbid Anatomy reader Chris Clanton about a photo-visit he and his girlfriend paid to the Shanghai Natural History museum. Here is how he described it:
Ah, the poor Shanghai Natural History Museum.... our Shanghai guidebook said to avoid the place because it was "dusty" and "filled with animal carcasses," so of course we made that the highlight of our visit. We sort of felt bad for the place after a while--there were even signs apologizing for the low quality or lack of thoroughness in their displays because of a lack of money.

There was one sign (I'm not sure if it made it to flickr or not) that read:
"As we are limited by time, ability, and financial capacity, the exhibition might have many shortcomings. Therefore we will be very grateful to those who can give us good opintons [sic]."

Apparently many of the displays were donated by the British Museum in the mid 1950s when it was built... and never really updated at all. However, the museum remains open today, and it's one of the few peaceful, quiet places that we went in Shanghai. The building itself is really beautiful "classic" 1920s architecture with huge stained glass windows and mosaic floors, but like the exhibits, it hasn't really been maintained and now is delightfully run down.
I would only add that it is really wonderful to see the differences in Eastern display methods and content--images of Eastern natural history museums are few and far between in The West, and it is fascinating to get a peek at what such museums are interested in, and how they choose to exhibit it, not to mention the wonder of viewing strange creatures such as what appears to be a hair-backed turtle...

To see more, (which I highly recommend--it was very difficult to cull down the 115 wonderful photos for use in this post) visit the Flickr Shanghai Natural History Museum photo-set here; All photos in that set and accompanying this post by Anne Gresham. You can find out more about the museum here.

Thanks, Chris, for sending this along!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dino Valls, 21st Century

Found via the VFR Chick Livejournal. To see much more of this Madrid based artist's work, visit the artist's website.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Melli Ink, 21st Century

The always fascinating Street Anatomy blog just turned me on to the work of Zurich-based artist Melli Ink. An artist with a background in stage and set design, she constructs fine-art installations built around large-scale, exquisite glassworks, some of them bearing a more than passing resemblance to the famed Blaschka glass models, others evoking Edward Gorey's gothic fantasies, and still others bringing to mind classic anatomical models rendered in stark, glistening crystal.

Check out her website (here) to see much more of her wonderful glasswork; Click here to see the original post on Street Anatomy.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mütter Museum 2009 Calendar Release Party, Proteus Gowanus Gallery and Reading Room, January 2, 7:00 PM

From the invitation:

Friday, January 2, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Morbid Anatomy Library celebrates the publication of
Mütter Museum
2009 Calendar

Blast Books publisher Laura Lindgren gives an illustrated talk about her twenty-two-year association with the renowned Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, joining the art of photography and medical history.

Laura Lindgren art directed and produced eight wall calendars featuring contemporary photographs by artists Max Aguilera-Hellweg, Rosamond Purcell, Arne Svenson, William Wegman, Joel-Peter Witkin, and others, of the famed museum’s collections. She edited, designed, and published two books, Mütter Museum by Gretchen Worden, in 2002, and Mütter Museum Historic Medical Photographs, in 2007, and has curated numerous exhibitions of Mütter Museum photographs that have traveled nationwide, as well as two Mütter exhibitions with Mütter objects and photographs—one at The Museum of Jurassic Technology in L.A., in 1994, and one at the now-defunct Thread Waxing Space in downtown Manhattan in 1995–1996.

The foundation of the Mütter Museum, one of the last nineteenth-century medical museums, dates to 1856, when Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter, a professor of surgery at Jefferson Medical College, wrote to The College of Physicians of Philadelphia that ill health was forcing him to resign his post and that he wished to offer the College guardianship of the anatomic and pathological materials he had collected for his own personal teaching “museum.” The deed of gift was completed a hundred and fifty years ago, January 9, 1859.
For more about the calendar, click here. Click here to download PDF invitation. And here is where you can find information that will help you find your way to Proteus Gowanus.

Hope to see you there!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Morbid Anatomy and Our Mischievous Side Kick, Krampus

Morbid Anatomy (and our mischievous side kick, Krampus) would like to wish you all happy holidays and a fabulous new year.

To see many, many more images of Krampus, click here to visit the extensive collection (from which the above images were drawn) housed on the Monster Brains blog. Learn more about Krampus and his evil ways here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

"An Iconography of Contagion," An Exhibition of 20th-Century Health Posters, National Academy of Sciences through January 12, 2009

I just received by mail a really lovely catalog for an exhibition of 20th-Century Health Posters currently on view at the National Academy of Sciences. The exhibition, titled An Iconography of Contagion, is curated by Mike Sappol (of Dream Anatomy fame), and presents over 20 posters culled from a variety of countries that graphically sound the warning about a broad range of threats to public health.

There is no on-line gallery for the exhibition, but you can download a PDF of the exhibition catalog that contains all the posters and explanatory text (as I did, and from which the above images are drawn) here; You can find out more about the exhibit, which is on view until January 12th, here.

Images, from the top: "Ali si zdrav? (Are you healthy?)," Yugoslavia, 1950s; "She may be... A bag a TROUBLE. Syphillis-Gonorrhea," USA, 1940s; La course a la Mort (The race with death), France, ca. 1926

Wolcott's Instant Pain Annihilator, Medical Advertisement, 19th C?

Apparently, this medication vanquishes many demons, and they are named and noted, for your convenience, in the text of the advert. "Fig 1. Demon of Catarrh, Fig 2. Demon of Neuralgia, Fig 3. Demon of Headache, Fig 4. Demon of Weak Nerves, and Fig 5. Demons of toothache." Looks like it might also do a number of death itself, from the lurking skeleton to the right who seems to be without a signifying figure number.

Click image to see a larger copy and read the text (and match it with the demons) for yourself. Found on the wonderful Monster Brains Blog.

"The Skeleton Dance," Disney Silly Symphonies, 1929

Find out more about this animation here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Animals in Formalin Preservation, Photo Gallery

In the preservation of animal specimens for study, animals are usually preserved using formalin where the whole body would be immersed in the posture in which it is supposed to stay permanently because it will be hardened. The ratio of formalin to carcass must at least be 12 to 1 to ensure a good fixation.

I have discovered a collection of beautiful photographs of animals in preserved in formalin on a website called, via the afore mentioned E-L-I-S-E blog. I can not find any citation for the museum where they were shot or the photographer's name; I suspect, per the familiar looking labels and specimens, that the photographs were taken at the Hunterian Collection in London, but have no idea about the photographer--does anyone out there have any ideas?

To see the full collection of photos, visit

Trepanning on the E-L-I-S-E Blog

The wonderful and enigmatic E-L-I-S-E blog has been posting some really great images of trepanning, and this on the heels of my boyfriend just saying how he'd like to set up a drive-up Trepanning kiosk in our Park Slope, Brooklyn neighborhood! Such a great idea, and such a great set of images.

Visit the always intriguing E-L-I-S-E blog to see more.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Anatomy of the Horse, 1914

Here are some more lovely images from the Mary Evans Picture Library website, this time, relatively somber depictions of the anatomy of the horse from 1912.