Tonight (US time) something dark and wonderful will open in Brooklyn, New York City. The Morbid Anatomy Museum includes a library, a classroom, cafe, gift shop and gallery for temporary exhibitions. The exhibition they’re opening with tonight is entitled ‘The Art of Mourning.’ My heart jumps just thinking of all the gloriously morbid artifacts and images that will reveal themselves to those lucky enough to walk through the black walls.
“This exhibition will showcase artworks–many of them never before exhibited–relating to mourning culture from the 18th to the 20th century including postmortem paintings and photography; hair art shadowboxes and jewelry; death masks; spirit photography; and mourning china drawn mainly from the astounding private collection of Stanley B. Burns MD, author of Sleeping Beauty and founder of The Burns Archive. Also included are pieces from the collections of Karen Bachmann, Jennifer Berman, Elizabeth A. Burns, Alice Lease Dana, Tracy Hurley Martin, Amber Jolliffe Maykut, Evan Michelson and Mike Zohn. The show is curated by Morbid Anatomy founder Joanna Ebenstein and scholar in residence Evan Michelson.”
I have to say my envy for anyone living within easy travelling distance to this place is fucking tremendous right now. I would literally kill to have something so unique close to my abode. The New York Times featured an excellent article on the place, going in-depth about its origins and the creative director Joanna Ebenstein.
“The nonprofit museum grew out of the Morbid Anatomy Library, Ms. Ebenstein’s private collection of more than2,000 books on medical history, death rituals, the human body and esoterica that was housed until recently in a tiny room tucked away in an alley near the Gowanus Canal. From that modest space, Morbid Anatomy has grown into a regular lecture series and DIY intellectual salon that brings together artists, writers, curators and passionate amateurs dedicated to what she sums up as “the things that fall through the cracks.”
You can read The New York Times article in its entirety here.
Ebenstein’s mission is very much like my own mission with Wyrd Words & Effigies, in that she wishes to highlight the obscure, the forgotten and the strangely beautiful. I think The Morbid Anatomy Museum will be rammed with just as many living things as dead, day in, day out.
Images sourced from The New York Times, Gothamist and The Morbid Anatomy Facebook page.