Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Support The Morbid Anatomy Museum in your End of Year Giving: Guest Post by Evan Michelson, TV's "Oddities" and Morbid Anatomy Museum Board Member
Since opening last June, The Morbid Anatomy Museum has hosted tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world; been the subject of articles in The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal, been described as an "indispensable new institution” by the Financial Times and included on a list of top museums in New York by The Awl. Your support has made all of the wonderful accomplishments of our first year possible, and we can’t thank you enough.

If you appreciate what we do, we humbly ask you to consider making a donation to the Morbid Anatomy Museum as part of your end of year giving. Your donation will allow us to meet our annual funding goal of $50,000, which will allow us to develop more terrific public programming and exhibitions, serve our growing and passionate community, and keep a roof over our heads.

You can donate today by clicking here. Higher level donations will be gifted with memberships, t-shirts, photoprints and more!

Evan Michelson is a scholar in residence, fellow traveler, and star of The Science Channel's "Oddities." She is also a member of our board, and a great supporter of the museum; when asked what she loves about the museum and why it should be supported, this is what she had to say:
It’s right there in the name: Museum - temple of the muses. That word, handed to us from antiquity, denotes a place of inspiration, of connection to all things manmade, natural, eternal and ephemeral. Museums, from the grandest marble palace to the most humble roadside cabin, are places of wonder and discovery. Museums are storehouses of our shared humanity, they preserve our cultural and historical artifacts, our art, our clothing, our decorative, industrial and scientific relics. Museums conserve natural specimens, they are the places where the totality of human understanding meets the urgency of human curiously. What happens in a museum is spiritual and intellectual alchemy. Only humans build museums - they are a form of immortality, a doorway to empathy, the greatest hope for greater understanding. In museums we formulate those questions that it takes a lifetime to answer.

I have always felt perfectly at home in museums. No matter how small or esoteric the collection, I have always revealed in that sense of discovery and wonder. From high art to barbed wire, museums almost magically combine the loftiest of human ideals with the most irrational and often base human compulsion to collect. Living in the information age means that we have a nearly infinite museum right at our fingertips, but no digital image can move you like being in the presence of an object itself. The strongest memories are woven from experience - once we viscerally know a thing, we carry a version with us always, tucked inside our imaginations, ready, to inspire us all over again. That Grecian urn you fell in love with at 17 can change your life at 45.

Libraries have long been associated with museums; it is a natural partnership. The great Library at Alexandria was also a museum, and its destruction is one of history’s most well-known cultural and intellectual tragedies.  Libraries are printed repositories of everything humans have ever been, have ever known, have ever wondered about or have ever hoped to be. Books convey experiences and insight that enlighten those of us who cannot be everywhere we want to be, or do everything we want to do. Museums and libraries, between them, bring human experience full-circle.

Which brings me, at last, to the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Gowanus, Brooklyn. We are a modest institution dedicated to the liminal - to those things that straddle boundaries, that are often overlooked, passed-by or only dimly glimpsed through the dense fog of history. We seek to span the distance between art, science and history. We seek to bridge the gap between beauty and repulsion, knowledge and fear, spirit and matter. We exhibit objects of wonder, provide fun, hands-on workshops, present lectures and organize road trips. Our consulting library is there to help you with your own personal investigation into the arcane and the unseen. Our doors are open to curious people everywhere.

Morbid Anatomy has moved on from our original home at Observatory to our very own brick-and-mortar location, but we’ve stayed true to our roots in Gowanus. We have long been a part of the local Brooklyn community, and we’ve watched our family spread through social and conventional media to encompass like-minded, curious people all over the globe. But it’s an unfortunate truth that museums and libraries have always been labors of love. Cultural institutions have always relied on donations, great and small, to keep the doors open and the lights on. Alas, culture is too often its own reward.

Yes - this is a pitch. Even the Great Library at Alexandria had to render unto Caesar (who might have, accidentally, helped burn the place down). The Morbid Anatomy Museum has widespread goodwill, but New York City has always been the toughest of towns. If you love museums, if you are a library geek, a bibliophile, a scholar, a rogue scholar, a collector, an artist, a maker, a thinker, a doer, a scientist, a goth, if you are deathly, lively, curious, empathetic or weird, we'd love to have you as a member (if you aren’t one already). If you haven’t visited us yet, please do. If you’ve visited us and had a good time, a donation is a great way of letting us know. If you visited and were challenged or vaguely traumatized, there’s no extra charge; again, any and all donations are appreciated.

Morbid Anatomy thanks you, from the bottom of our waxy, preserved hearts.    
Please consider donating today by clicking here!

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