Over this past weekend, I went to the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Gowanus, Brooklyn. The admission price is fairly cheap, and I managed to get in for $6 by lying and saying that I was still a student at Parsons (I still have my old student ID at all times, in case I need to get a discount at a movie or a museum, but even then the Gothy hipster girl running the admissions counter didn’t even check). Overall, I would suggest going to a place like this. I admit that it was small and that the two-room, single floor of exhibits seems like a collector’s apartment filled with strange trinkets and oddities — you feel like you’re at your weird, really-religious-but-somehow-progressive aunt’s apartment, and she just died and you need to clear out her junk.
As an artist, I loved nearly all the exhibits — from the two-headed kitten, to some guy’s tattooed skin preserved in a jar, to all the imagery of death and religion. A couple of my friends who went with me (excluding one friend that’s a fine artist) said the place is a rip-off, but they aren’t visual or artistically-inclined people; a large part of me appreciates the finest detail of even the littlest thing: from a well-preserved skeleton of a translucent tropical fish in a 2-inch jar, to the hand-carved Virgin Mary and Death statues that could easily balance on the tip of your finger. That shit takes immense skill to create, and yes, if you bunch it all together in such a confined space, you can easily overlook those details. I understand that nearly everything in that museum took patience to create, and I advise you to have such patience when visiting this place. It’s an interesting place if you’re fascinated by images of the macabre and sacred, and you’ll definitely need some time to examine all the books, photographs, and tiny pieces this small museum has to offer. If your expectations are to see a bunch of freakshow fuckery, you might be disappointed.
Oh, but they do have taxidermied squirrels and chipmunks gathering at a bar and a fair, respectively. There’s also a coffee bar and a keen gift shop on the ground floor, too. All of it is pretty fucking cool.
Click through some of the larger exhibits: