Gowanus Is Getting A “Museum of Morbid Anatomy”

Joanna Ebenstein/DNAinfo
Joanna Ebenstein/DNAinfo

Anyone who enjoys using their free time to look at fetuses in jars and taxidermied kittens in Victorian costumes—so, everyone?—can now save the cost of a Megabus trip to Philly’s Mutter Museum: Gowanus is getting its own “Museum of Morbid Anatomy,” an expansion of the long-running blog and library of the same name. It’ll be run by the blog’s proprietor, historian Joanna Ebenstein, and feature a lot of stuff at the “interstices of art and medicine, death and culture” as well as classes on subjects like “the history of the devil.” It sounds wonderful (and like an unexpectedly big week for taxidermy news).

DNAinfo reports that the museum has the backing of the Brooklyn Arts Council and will be housed in a former nightclub building on Third Avenue near Seventh St. The first exhibition, pictured above, features the work of Victorian taxidermist Walter Potter, “who posed stuffed kittens and other animals in typical English  scenes like croquet games and tea parties.”

The choice of neighborhood was highly deliberate, and Ebenstein tells the site,”Developers are literally knocking on people’s doors. It’s like the next land rush. I would like to put a foothold of quirky Brooklyn down before it’s too late…[The museum] is kind of my manifesto against the corporatization of the neighborhood.” Not the next wave of gentrification backlash we were expecting, but a weird and welcome one nonetheless.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.


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