The Brothers Quay, creators of phantasmagorical stop-motion animation, are shooting a documentary film about the College of Physicians of Philadelphia's Mutter Museum, the incredible wunderkammer of antique wax anatomical models, pathological specimens, and antique medical instruments. (If you can't make it to the museum in person, the gorgeous Mutter Museum coffee table book and Mutter Museum 2011 Calendar are the next best things.) the From the New York Times:
The brothers were touring the Mütter Museum, a 19th-century repository of curiosa at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, garbed somewhat disappointingly in chinos and sweaters. They were filming manikins, anatomical anomalies and bizarre surgical instruments for an as-yet-untitled documentary on the museum and its adjoining 340,000-volume library. Next fall the short will be screened as part of a symposia at the Mütter, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and, in Los Angeles, at the uncategorizable Museum of Jurassic Technology. Bankrolled by a $287,000 grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the project is the latest attempt by a museum to expand its audience by enlisting artists to interpret its collection…
Timothy (Quay) hinted that the film's framing device would be the tale of Harry Eastlack, whose skeleton is on display at the Mütter. He died at 39 of a rare, progressive, inflammatory disease that turned the connective tissue in his body to bone. During his final days he became a kind of living statue. After his death, in 1973, his sister often dropped by the museum to see his exhibit. The Quays shot a dreamy re-enactment of a visit.
"We hope it will be illuminating," Timothy said.
"Gently and poetically illuminating," Stephen (Quay) said.