Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Ku Klux Klan! Dr. Richard Barnett's Hendrick's Gin Sponsored Residency! Morbid Anatomy Museum Fundraiser! This Week and Beyond at at Morbid Anatomy!

We have tons of great events in the days and months to come at Morbid Anatomy! 

First, a few newly announced events: please save the date for a very special Morbid Anatomy Museum Kickstarter fundraising party of Friday, April 18, details on which will follow very soon! Also, very much hope to see you at Art and Anatomy: Preserving and Exhibiting the Human Body with Dr Corinna Wagner, University of Exeter (Monday, May 3); Making Dinosaurs: The Art and Science of Fossil Preparation with Caitlin Wylie; (Tuesday, May 13); and Extraordinary Birds: The Art of Ornithology Lecture and Book Signing with Paul Sweet, Department of Ornithology at AMNH!

Tomorrow night (Friday, April 4) we are also very excited to be hosting Mike Zohn of TV's Oddities for a special talk and artifact show and tell about The Surprising Story of the Ku Klux Klan in America. Other upcoming events include our "Morbid Anatomy Anthology" Book Release Party at the new Morbid Anatomy Museum (Saturday, April 26); Wondrous Tones: In Search of "Nature Music" with Emily I. Dolan, University of Pennsylvania (Thursday, May 8); and a reprise of our (to our great surprise) very successful singles night: Morbid Curiosity: A Morbid Anatomy Singles Night with Daisy Tainton (Tuesday May 20).

Next week marks the first of Dr Richard Barnett's Hendrick's Gin sponsored lectures as this month's Scholar in Resdience, with two lectures devoted to the history of gin as explored in his Book of Gin: The first is Quintessence Of A Mystery: The Birth Of Gin on Thursday, April 10, and the second is Dutch Courage And Mothers’ Ruin: The Gin Craze on Friday, April 11; more on these can be found in this weeks Brooklyn Paper. Other events in the series inlcude a lecture and party for his incredible new book on pathological atlases The Sick Rose (The Sick Rose: Anatomy and Art in an Age of Revolution; Thursday, April 17); a talk on Nikola Tesla (The Electric Fictions of Nikola Tesla; Sunday, April 13); and another on 19th century ideas of animal and human minds (The Beast in the Mirror; Tuesday, April 22). And, thanks to the generosity of Hendricks, gin cocktails will be on hand for all events!

For those who prefer to learn arcane skills, we have a number of excellent workshop offerings including  Squirrel Taxidermy Class (Sunday, March 23); Wearable Taxidermy Workshop (Sunday, April 13); Fancy Pigeon Taxidermy Class (Sunday, April 20); The Victorian Art of Hair Jewelry; Mother's Day Special (Saturday, May 10); Special Walter Potter Edition - Anthropomorphic Bunny Taxidermy Class  (Sunday May 18th);  Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman (Sunday, June 1st); and the afore mentioned Anthropomorphic Insect Shadowbox Workshop with Former AMNH Senior Insect Preparator Daisy Tainton (Saturday, June 14).

Full list and more information on all events can be found here. Hope to see you at one or more of these terrific events!
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The Surprising Story of the Ku Klux Klan in America: Lecture and Artifact Show and Tell with Mike Zohn of TV's Oddities
Date: Friday, April 4
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
A few years ago, Mike Zohn of TV's Oddities found, at his local flea market, a bizarre panoramic photograph (dated 1925) showing a huge group of delegates from the Delaware chapter of the Ku Klux Klan posing--in full costume--in front of the U.S. Capitol building. Not long after, he came across a motion lamp from the same time period depicting the flaming cross emblem of the K.K.K.. These two artifacts led Mike to ask a number of questions: what was the story with this particular group of Klans Men, and what were they doing posing in front of the Capital building? And how could it be that the infamous icon of murderous intolerance--the flaming cross--could have become the subject of a prosaic, commercially sold motion lamp almost as if it The Klan were just another club such as the rotary club or the masons?

More here.
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Quintessence Of A Mystery: The Birth Of Gin: Illustrated lecture with Morbid Anatomy Museum Scholar in Residence Richard Barnett, Engagement Fellow at the Wellcome Trust, with cocktails by Ronni Thomas
Sponsored by Hendrick's Gin
Date: Thursday, April 10
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Location: Observatory (543 Union Street at Nevin, Brooklyn; enter via Proteus Gowanus Gallery)
** Copies of Barnett's book The Book of Gin will be available for sale and signing
Globalization, the consumer society, the Glorious Revolution – each was conceived in gin. In this talk, author of The Book of Gin and Morbid Anatomy Museum Visiting Scholar in Residence Richard Barnett will reveal the ways in which this fiery, mysterious spirit captured the imaginations of all kinds of early modern Europeans. We’ll meet gentlemen pursuing natural philosophy in their private closets, physicians seeking new medicines and restoratives, alchemists searching for the elixir of life, and (of course) distillers looking to make money from the basic, visceral human drive for intoxication. Why were two heady, symbolically–charged substances – juniper and spirit – brought together in the same glass? What adventures did they have before and after this union? And just how did gin come to be consumed in such vast quantities – for health, for pleasure and for the promise of immortality?

More here.

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Dutch Courage And Mothers’ Ruin: The Gin Craze Lecture with Cocktails by Friese Undine: Illustrated lecture with Morbid Anatomy Museum Visiting Scholar in Residence Richard Barnett, Engagement Fellow at the Wellcome Trust with drinks and music by Friese Undine
Sponsored by Hendrick's Gin
Date: Friday, April 11
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $12
Location: Observatory (543 Union Street at Nevin, Brooklyn; enter via Proteus Gowanus Gallery)
** Copies of Barnett's book The Book of Gin will be available for sale and signing.

For more than two centuries William Hogarth’s ‘Gin Lane’ has framed our ideas about the history of gin – a cheap, fiery spirit laced with turpentine, fuelling poverty and annihilating the fabric of society. ‘Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for tuppence …’ and all that. In this talk, author of The Book of Gin and Morbid Anatomy Museum Visiting Scholar in Residence Richard Barnett will lead us on a walk down Gin Lane, to dissect the cultural and political realities behind this notorious epidemic. We’ll meet pamphleteers railing against gin, politicians legislating against it, bootleggers smuggling it, and poets great and god-awful singing its praises. Join us – if you dare – for an evening of Scorch-Gut, Kill-Me-Quick, Strip-Me-Naked.
Come for the lecture, and stay for delicious artisinal cocktails and thematic tunes courtesy of Friese Undine.

More here.
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Wearable Taxidermy Workshop with Morbid Anatomy Museum Taxidermist in residence Divya Anantharaman
Date: Sunday, April 13
Time: 12 – 6 PM
Admission: $120
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue), 11215 Brooklyn, NY
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy
**Tickets can be purchased by clicking here
Perfect for beginners, experts, or anyone in between, this class will provide students with materials and instruction to create a totally unique piece of wearable taxidermy! The class will begin with a short illustrated lecture on wearable taxidermy, from prehistoric speculation, to shrunken heads, Victorian hummingbird jewelry, and the modern day use of ethically obtained animal products in art and fashion. Students will then design their piece and bring it to life using the guidance, tips, tricks, and techniques advised by Divya.

More here.

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The Electric Fictions of Nikola Tesla
Illustrated lecture with Morbid Anatomy Museum Scholar in Residence Richard Barnett, Engagement Fellow at the Wellcome Trust
Sponsored by Hendrick's Gin
Date: Sunday, April 13
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Location: Observatory (543 Union Street at Nevin, Brooklyn; enter via Proteus Gowanus Gallery)
According to online comic The Oatmeal, Nikola Tesla – Serbian-American electrical engineer, techno-prophet, and heroic self-mythologist – was ‘the greatest geek who ever lived.’ Tesla collaborated with both Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, and invented or predicted many of the technologies on which our modern urban lives depend. But he is missing from many mainstream histories, and other writers have implicated him in conspiracies around free energy, time travel and death rays. In this talk, Morbid Anatomy Museum Visiting Scholar in Residence Richard Barnett will follow Tesla's electric fictions from Serbia to Liberty Street in Manhattan and Wardenclyffe Tower on Long Island, against the backdrop of a decade that also witnessed the first modern UFO flaps, the birth of modern sci-fi, and the invention of popular cinema. In doing so, he will argue that Tesla’s work, and his enduring impact, owes just as much to pop culture as it does to hard science.

More here.
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The Sick Rose: Anatomy and Art in an Age of Revolution : Lecture and Book Signing with Morbid Anatomy Museum Scholar in Residence Richard Barnett, Engagement Fellow at the Wellcome Trust
Sponsored by Hendrick's Gin
Date: Thursday, April 17
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
Copies of The Sick Rose will be available for sale and signing
Location: Observatory (543 Union Street at Nevin, Brooklyn; enter via Proteus Gowanus Gallery)
Between the French Revolution and the First World War Europe and America witnessed a golden age of medical image-making. The first generation of mass-market anatomical and pathological textbooks and atlases offered crisp, detailed color illustrations of the human body in health and disease, and in doing so created a corpus of work that is beautiful and morbid, singular and sublime. Over the past year Morbid Anatomy Museum Visiting Scholar in Residence Richard Barnett has been writing about these images for The Sick Rose, the first in a new series of illustrated books made in collaboration with the Wellcome Library. In this talk, Dr. Barnett will tell the story of a revolution in medicine and art, and discuss the challenges in bringing these sometimes disturbing images to a wider audience.

More here.
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April 18: Morbid Anatomy Museum Kickstarter Party Save the Date!

More on this soon!

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Fancy Pigeon Taxidermy Class with Morbid Anatomy Taxidermist in Residence Divya Ananthamaran
Date: Sunday, Date: April 20
Admission: $265
Time: 12-6pm
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue), 11215 Brooklyn, NY
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy
**Tickets can be purchased by clicking here

In this exclusive intermediate level workshop, we will learn about the wonderful diversity of pigeons and classic bird taxidermy. These are NOT New York City pigeons, but fancy heritage breeds, including Fantails and Homers. These fascinating birds were used by Charles Darwin as one of the examples in his first chapter of "On the Origins of Species," and a variety of colors will be available for students to select in class. The birds used in this class are naturally deceased show birds from one of America's leading pigeon enthusiasts-making for a very unique opportunity!

More here.
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The Beast in the Mirror: Illustrated lecture with Morbid Anatomy Museum Visiting Scholar in Residence Richard Barnett, Engagement Fellow at the Wellcome TrustSponsored by Hendrick's Gin
Date: Tuesday, April 22
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Location: Observatory (543 Union Street at Nevin, Brooklyn; enter via Proteus Gowanus Gallery
In the early twenty-first century neuroscientists and psychologists are looking again at the relationship between animal and human minds. This is a line of inquiry with deep roots in Western science, and some remarkably eccentric predecessors. In Mind in the Lower Animals in Health and Disease, published in 1879, the Scottish mad-doctor William Lauder Lindsay abandoned his human lunatics and turned to the animal kingdom. Lindsay ranged across continents and centuries, pillaging writers from Pliny to Darwin and ushering his readers into a dark world of ape neurosis and snake psychosis, suicidal scorpions and deranged, Prufockian lemmings. In this talk, Morbid Anatomy Museum Visiting Scholar in Residence Richard Barnett will grab Lindsay’s work by its provocatively twitching tail, and use it to uncover the hidden history of animal minds in Victorian life science. Taking the dog for a walk will never be the same.
More here.

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Morbid Anatomy Anthology" Book Release Party
brooklyn-brewery-logo-gold Sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery and with cocktails and music by Friese Undine
Date: NEW DATE: Saturday, April 26
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: Free
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum ( New Location ) : 424A 3rd Ave Corner of 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
** Copies of The Morbid Anatomy Anthology will be available for sale and signing

Please join us for a night of drinks, music and books to celebrate the release of "The Morbid Anatomy Anthology," a 500 page, lavishly illustrated, hardbound and full-color book featuring 28 essays based on some of the most memorable lectures hosted by Morbid Anatomy since 2008. Included in the book are essays by Evan Michelson (star of Science Channel’s hit show "Oddities") featuring never before published photographs of the catacombs of Palermo; Simon Chaplin (head of the Wellcome Library) on public displays of corpses in Georgian England, Caitlin Doughty of the popular Ask a Mortician web series on demonic children and the witch trials of Europe, and Paul Koudounaris (author of Empire of Death) on a truck stop populated with human skulls. In addition are pieces on books bound in human skin, fin de siècle death-themed Parisian cafes, post-mortem photography, eroticized anatomical wax models, taxidermied humans and other animals, Santa Muerte, “artist of death” Frederik Ruysch, and much more. Many of the authors will be on hand to raise a glass with you and sign your copy of the book!

More here.
Art and Anatomy: Preserving and Exhibiting the Human Body
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Art and Anatomy: Preserving and Exhibiting the Human BodyIllustrated lecture with Dr Corinna Wagner, University of Exeter
Date: Monday, May 5
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Location: *** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)

In this illustrated talk, Dr Corinna Wagner will investigate collaborations between artists and anatomists, from the late eighteenth century to the present day. We will look at the ways artists and anatomists shared a belief that by understanding the body’s interior, we may more fully understanding what it means to be human. Two medical art forms in particular—wax anatomical models and écorchés (flayed bodies)—inspired debates over such questions as: how might seeing into the body change human identity? How would public access to wax anatomical models and preserved bodies change people’s views about ‘normality’ and ‘abnormality’? Did the spectacle of preserved bodies affect feelings of human compassion, sympathy and communality?

More here.
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Wondrous Tones: In Search of "Nature Music"
Illustrated Lecture with Emily I. Dolan, University of Pennsylvania
Date: Thursday, May 8
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Location: *** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)

What is nature’s voice? Does it understand harmony? Does it know melody? Can nature sing? During the early nineteenth century, many inventors and acousticians were fascinated by the idea of harnessing natural tones. The idea that music and nature are closely bound is an ancient one that stretches back to the harmony of the spheres. The “nature music” of this period, however, was understood not as silent mathematical proportions, but rather as actual sound: beautiful, ethereal tones that were thought to linger from a prelapsarian time. Musicologist Emily I. Dolan explores the many attempts to organize and control the voice of nature by means of new, and often fantastical, musical instruments.
More here.
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The Victorian Art of Hair Jewelry : Workshop with Art Historian and Master Jeweler Karen Bachmann; Mother's Day Special
Date: Saturday, May 10
Time: 1 – 5 PM
Admission: $75
***Tickets must be pre-purchased here
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue ( Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue ), 11215 Brooklyn , NY
Hair jewelry was an enormously popular form of commemorative art that began in the late 17th century and reached its zenith during the Victorian Era. Hair, either of someone living or deceased, was encased in metal lockers or woven to enshrine the human relic of a loved one. This class will explore a modern take on the genre.

More here.
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Making Dinosaurs: The Art and Science of Fossil Preparation
Illustrated Lecture by Caitlin Wylie, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Date: Tuesday, May 13
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Location: *** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
Dinosaur skeletons standing tall and mighty are a familiar sight in museums. But how did they get that way? You probably already know that fossils lie encased in ancient rock until that rock weathers away, leaving them exposed and ready to be spotted by a lucky fossil hunter. But what happens next is rarely written down or shared outside the community of fossil researchers and technicians. This talk goes between the lines of scientific publications and behind the scenes of museum laboratories to investigate the people, practices, and motivations involved in making crumbling, incomplete fossils into both beautiful dinosaur skeletons and elegant theories about past life, evolution, and Earth history.

More here.
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Special Walter Potter Edition - Anthropomorphic Bunny Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman and Katie Innamorato
Date: Sunday May 18th
Time: 12 – 6 PM
Admission: $350
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue), Brooklyn, NY
Subway: 4th Av – 9th Street (R – F – G)
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy
**Tickets can be purchased by clicking here

Anthropomorphic taxidermy–in which taxidermied animals are posed into human attitudes and poses–was an artform made famous by Victorian taxidermist and museologist Walter Potter. In this class, students will learn to create–from start to finish–anthropomorphic bunnies inspired by the charming and imaginative work of Mr. Potter and his ilk. This class will cover all the more advanced techniques used in rabbit taxidermy from start to finish-from proper skinning and fleshing techniques, how to split, turn and position rabbit ears, dry preservation, and the traditional methods of building their own form using wrapped body. Extra special bunny sized Potter themed props will be provided, and instruction on how to create your own props, such as hats and monocles, will be provided. Students will also be provided with materials to make antlers, horns, or tentacles. As always, students are also welcome to bring their own props or accessories if desired.

More here.
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Morbid Curiosity: A Morbid Anatomy Singles Night
Hosted by Daisy Tainton

Date: Tuesday, May 20th
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $15 (includes one free adult beverage)
Purchase tickets here.
Location: *** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
Are you dying to show off your knowledge of death, diseases and afflictions? Want to meet some like-minded New Yorkers and discuss fun topics like New York's burgeoning measles outbreak? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, we hope you’ll join us for our second Morbid Curiosity: A Morbid Anatomy Singles Night!
Play games with historical, anatomical and medical themes. Meet interesting singles with whom you actually have something in common, curiosity-seekers to join you on your next graveyard tour, or simply hang out with the Morbid Anatomy Team and pick our brains!

Read more about last month's iteration on Nerve.com by clicking here.

More here.
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Anthropomorphic Mouse (One or Two Headed!) Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman
Date:  Sunday, June 1st
Time: 1 – 5 PM
Offsite*** Morbid Anatomy Museum ( New Location ) : 424A 3rd Ave, Corner of 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Admission: $110 (one-headed) / $125 (two-headed)
*** Purchase tickets by clicking here.
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy


In this class, students will learn all the skills required to make--and leave class with their very own--piece of one- or two-headed mouse anthropomorphic taxidermy. Anthropomorphic taxidermy--a practice in which taxidermied animals are posed as if engaged in human activities--was an artform made famous by Victorian taxidermist and museologist Walter Potter. In this class, as profiled by the New York Times, students will learn to create--from start to finish--anthropomorphic mice inspired by the charming and imaginative work of Mr. Potter. Your final project might take the form of a bespectacled, whiskey swilling, top hat tipping mouse; or perhaps a rodent mermaid queen of the burlesque world? With some props and some artful styling, your mouse can become whatever or whomever you want; this is the joy of anthropomorphic taxidermy.

More here.

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Anthropomorphic Insect Shadowbox Workshop with Former AMNH Senior Insect Preparator Daisy Tainton
Date: Saturday, June 14
Time: 1 – 4 PM
Admission: $75
***Must buy ticket here
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy
***Offsite*** Morbid Anatomy Museum ( New Location ) : 424A 3rd Ave
Corner of 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Today, join former AMNH Senior Insect Preparator Daisy Tainton for Morbid Anatomy’s popular Anthropomorphic Insect Shadowbox Workshop.
Rhinoceros beetles: nature’s tiny giants. Adorable, with their giant heads and tiny legs, and wonderful antler-like protrusions. If you think they would be even more adorable drinking tiny beers and holding tiny fishing poles, we have the perfect class for you! In today’s workshop, students will learn to make–and leave with their own!–shadowbox dioramas featuring carefully positioned beetles doing nearly anything you can imagine.
Xylotrupes gideon beetles will be available, one per student. They measure about 3″ tall when standing vertically.

More here.

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Extraordinary Birds: The Art of Ornithology Lecture and Book SigningIllustrated lecture with Paul Sweet, Collection Manager in the Department of Ornithology, AMNH
Date: Tuesday, July 22
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
*** Copies of Extraordinary Birds will be available for sale and signing
Tonight, join American Museum of Natural History ornithologist Paul Sweet for a heavily illustrated lecture based on his new book Extraordinary Birds, the second publication in the AMNH’s Natural Histories series. In Extraordinary Birds, Paul traces the history of ornithological illustration from the Renaissance to the 20th century, examining the development of scientific thought, world exploration and printing techniques, and telling the stories of important figures from the history of ornithology.

More here.
Full list and more information on all events can be found here. More on the Morbid Anatomy Art Academy can be found here.

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