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Biomedicine in museums

The culture of curiosity (or: keep an eye on OBSERVATORY)

By November 9, 2009No Comments

We here at Medical Museion are always on the outlook for new and interesting institutional experiments to learn from. This week’s announcement of up-coming events at OBSERVATORY is inspirational:

The Culture of Curiosity is everywhere these days. Wunderkammern appear in popular art, cutting-edge fashion, film, books and museum exhibitions. This aesthetic has proved surprisingly durable and popular for over 600 years. From temple to home to museum, the Culture of Curiosity continues to exert an irresistible pull on our collective psyches, and it shows no signs of falling from favor any time soon.

I guess our (formerly) own Camilla — who has specialised in how the practice of the Wunderkammer can be transferred to present-day museum practice — couldn’t have said it better. (By the way, her book on Ole Worm’s Wunderkammer, Genstandsfortællinger, is about to be published in Danish…).

So here is OBSERVATORY’s current event programme:

  • Friday, November 13th: The Culture of Curiosity – with Evan Michelson, co-owner of Obscura Antiques & Oddities(AKA “The Morbid Anatomy Gift Shop”).
  • Sunday, November 15th: Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius – with Colin Dickey.
  • Saturday, November 21st: Opening of OBSERVATORY’s next art exhibition, ALL SORTS OF REMEDIES: work by Herbert Pfostl.
  • Friday, December 4th: Occult America – a talk by Mitch Horowitz.
  • Thursday, December 10th: Exquisite Corpses – Illustrated Lecture and Artifacts from the Mütter Museum with the museum’s director, Robert D. Hicks.
  • Friday, December 18th: Art as Magic and the Cold Hard Facts of Life: Herbert Pfostl in conversation with James Walsh.

Wish I lived in Brooklyn, NY. For CO2-reasons, I wouldn’t even think of flying over there. For more information, see

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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