Monday, November 23, 2009

"Morbid Anatomies and Anatomical Theatres: A Guided Tour through the World of Medical Museums," Lecture, "Adult Education," Tues. December 1

I would like to cordially invite all Morbid Anatomy readers to Adult Education's monthly lecture series at Park Slope New York's lovely Union Hall next Tuesday, December 1st. The theme for this month's installment is "Death," and I will be contributing to the evening's festivities with a heavily-illustrated lecture on the art and history of medical museums, with a special focus on the most spectacular examples of anatomical artworks and the great artists of the genre, as observed on the one-month pilgrimage to medical museums around the world I embarked upon in the development of the Anatomical Theatre exhibition.

Also featured in the evening's line-up will be Dorian Devins, Margaret Mittelbach, & Andrew Templar on the Carnivorous Nights taxidermy contest (as discussed in this recent post), Katherine Heller on "Le Petit Mort: Death as a Metaphor for Orgasm in Popular Culture and Literature" and Alex Pareene on "Homicidal Tendencies In Electronic Information Networks."

Adult Education describes itself as "a useless lecture series" and presents "brief, multimedia lectures on a shared theme" by a variety of speakers. As you can see by the full line-up below, this one is sure to be good! Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 8 pm (doors at 7:30)
Union Hall in Park Slope, New York
702 Union St. @ 5th Ave
$5 cover

"Death and Taxidermy: The Ape That Launched 1000 Quips"
Devins, Mittelbach, and Templar discuss observations gleaned from four years of Carnivorous Nights, an annual taxidermy contest held in Brooklyn.

"Everyone Is Trying To Kill You: Analyzing Homicidal Tendencies In Electronic Information Networks"
The most dangerous people in America today are celebrities. And Arianna Huffington is letting them blog. Alex Pareene assesses recent threats to our national health from Suzanne Somers and Canada.

"Le Petit Mort: Death as a Metaphor for Orgasm in Popular Culture and Literature"
Heller looks at the various ways in which death, much like everything else, is tied to sex.

"Morbid Anatomies and Anatomical Theatres: A Guided Tour through the World of Medical Museums"
What is the difference between a wet and a dry specimen? Why did people make life-sized, recumbent wax women whose insides could be taken apart into dozens of pieces? Where did Gunther von Hagens (Body Worlds exhibit) get his schtick? Joanna Ebenstein presents a virtual tour of great medical museums of the western world.

Hosted, as always, by the inimitable Charles Star

* * * *


DORIAN DEVINS and MARGARET MITTELBACH are cofounders of Secret Science Club, a monthly lecture series at the Bell House in Brooklyn. Devins is a radio producer and host of WFMU, 91.1 FM's "The Speakeasy," a weekly arts and cultural interview program. Mittelbach is co-author, with ANDREW TEMPLAR, of Carnivorous Nights: On the Trail of the Tasmanian Tiger and author of Wild New York: A Guide to the Wildlife, Wild Places and Natural Phenomena of New York City. Templar is co-owner of Union Hall, the Bell House, Floyd, and the mysterious 'rump ape.'

JOANNA EBENSTEIN is a Brooklyn based artist. She runs the Morbid Anatomy blog and the Morbid Anatomy Library. She is also the founding member of Observatory, a collaborative Gowanus-based exhibition/presentation space where she presents lectures on a variety of morbid topics. Her recent exhibition, Anatomical Theatre, is a photo survey of great medical museums of the western world.

KATHARINE HELLER is a writer, actress and comedian. Most recently, she wrote and produced an award-winning show at the New York International Fringe Festival, The Boy in the Basement. Heller has been a regular theater and nightlife reviewer for the online magazine New York Cool and is working on her first one-woman show, My Dad's Crazier Than Your Dad.

ALEX PAREENE writes about politics for Gawker and is author of the blog Everyone Is Trying To Kill You. Formerly, he was Editor of Washington DC gossip website His writing has appeared on many famous and popular internet sites, on the World Wide Web. He is not a doctor and, in fact, did not even finish attaining a BFA.

CHARLES STAR (HOST) is a lawyer sans portfolio and a stand-up comedian sans recognition who lives in Brooklyn with his excellent wife, his awesome cat, and a budding baby genius. He's on the web at
Full information about the event and more about the Adult Education series can be found by clicking here. You can find out more about the venue, including directions, by clicking here.

The image you see above is drawn from the "Anatomical Theatre" exhibition; click here to view the full exhibition. The model pictured is called "The Slashed Beauty" and is a life-sized wax anatomical model with human hair which reclines on a silk cushion in a rosewood and Venetian Glass case; she was probably modeled by Clemente Susini around 1790 and is housed at "La Specola” (Museo di Storia Naturale) in Florence, Italy. You will hear the story behind this model and many others of equally spectacular nature in my lecture next Tuesday.

1 comment:

holly aka golly said...

I wish I could be in NY for your lecture. La Specola houses the most amazing collection of wax models. Such a special place.