March 18, 2013

visiting the museum (part 2)


looking into the main storage room of the Museum

peeking into the "gooey" section of the museum's collection, where all the hearts and brains and organs are stored in jars, suspended in liquid

hard to tell, but this is a very large model of the eye
beautiful & quite fragile models of the inner ear made out of wax
definitely one of my favorite things - a model of the tongue!
a giant model of a kidney!
the detail of the kidney model
a paper mache model of the fetus in utero that opens and closes with a latch
a model of a turtle heart
one of the many fantastic books from the museum's archives library
unpeeling the many layers of the body
another layered body
a gorgeous book of engravings
this looks like some kind of sea creature, but not really sure

Like most museums, only a fraction of the National Museum of Health & Medicine's permanent collection is on public view (one curator estimated about 5%). During my recent visit, I got to spend half the day behind-the-scenes of the Museum, looking at many of the amazing objects in their collection (some of which I was not allowed to photograph due to privacy laws, sadly).

Slices of brains with gunshot wounds, a skin of a fully-tattooed Japanese man (think The Illustrated Man and you get the idea), vintage prosthetics developed during war time, a complete set of paper mache models of uteri (plural of uterus?) with tiny fetuses inside....those are just a few of the objects in their collection.

Needless to say, I can't wait to go back.

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