Secret photo archives of the Mutter Museum: haunting book of Victorian pathological curiosities


6 Responses to “Secret photo archives of the Mutter Museum: haunting book of Victorian pathological curiosities”

  1. Drew from Zhrodague says:

    I was at the Mutter Museum this previous Saturday for the first time, and I have to say that it is definitely worth the trip. My SO and I spent nearly three hours oogling their exhibits and reading the plaques. The place was packed with people and kids, and of course only pieces of dead people. The Soap Lady is the only whole dead person. If you’re in Philly, this is something every nerd will enjoy, whether you’re in medical school or not.

    Make sure to eat soft buttered pretzels made by the Amish from the Reading Terminal Market. Mmmmmmmmm

  2. remthewanderer says:

    It is worth mentioning the Mutter Museum has a no photography policy. I believe one of the editors of BB has posted about these stupid policies before.

    Because my pictures of human skulls behind glass are far superior to the professional photographs in the books that the gift shop sells…

    This museum dates back to 1858. I do not think Dr. Mutter would have liked knowing that the work he did to share medical knowledge with the world is being restricted by the current caretakers of his collection. In fact the Mutter’s own website states,

    “The Mütter Museum was founded to educate future doctors about anatomy and human medical anomalies. Today, it serves as a valuable resource for educating and enlightening the public about our medical past and telling important stories about what it means to be human. The Mütter Museum embodies The College of Physicians of Philadelphia ‘s mission to advance the cause of health, and uphold the ideals and heritage of medicine.”

    So let’s try and educate the world, but if they want pictures that they can reference later to enhance their learning, fuck them, let them buy a book from us!

    I live outside of Philadelphia and would be willing to make frequent trips to the Mutter Museum (my wife is a 1st year resident doctor) if it were not for this absurd policy.

  3. Bevatron Repairman says:

    Two friends were married at the Mutter Museum or, more properly, at the College of Physicians building (in which the Museum is housed), but had cocktail hour in and around the Museum itself. That I could look at Chief Justice Marshall’s Gallstones while sipping a mandarin cosmopolitan and toast to my friends’ happiness was simply delightful, doubly so that the wedding was the Saturday before Halloween that year.

  4. ssaargent says:

    I’m a philadelphia resident and I’ve been to the mutter museum more times then I can count. I’m also a photographer and I’ve gotten permission from the staff there to take pictures numerous times. You have to sign a form, they’re concerned about their exhibits being used ‘for the wrong purposes’. It’s basically an NDA.

  5. HeavyG says:

    There is a book (Manual of Surgery – 6th edition circa 1921) containing similar clinical images that is available on the Project Gutenberg site:

    The html version has the photos. The pictures in this book make no pretensions to art – they are strictly clinical photos for the edification of physicians that may encounter patients with such afflictions.

  6. halfvenus says:

    Ever since I flunked breast reconstruction following mastectomy, the guilt associated with staring at or examining medical oddities, burn victims and/or amputees has faded.

    I am one of “them” now, even though you can’t tell when I’m clothed and wearing my prosthetic.

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