"The dead bodies are back?" my son asked, when I mentioned my morning plans included checking out the new Body Worlds exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum.
The new show, called "Body Worlds & The Cycle Of Life" is different from the Body Worlds exhibit that premiered six years ago â€“ this time visitors see the body throughout the human life cycle from embryo to end of life.Â
It opens tomorrow, Feb. 7, and will run through June 14.
"Body Worlds & The Cycle Of Life" features more than 200 plastinates (er, dead bodies), which are real human specimens preserved through a process called plastination invented by physician and anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens.
Visitors have the chance to see what it looks like under the skin and get up close and personal with organs and body parts that are both healthy and unhealthy. I found the 30-foot digestive system and nervous system on display particularly interesting.
Although the show will undoubtedly have visitors reflect on mortality, life choices and the inevitability of aging, there is just enough whimsy and vivaciousness to keep it from getting too dark.Â
For example, one of the palatinates is doing a skateboard trick and two others are wearing ice skates.Â
Plus, the wall quotes are particularly uplifting, including, "Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old," by Franz Kafka, and Abe Lincolnâ€™s wise words, "In the end, itâ€™s not the years of your life that count, itâ€™s the life in your years."
The amount of available information, especially for younger exhibit goers, is abundant. Itâ€™s a fascinating lesson on anatomy, biology and the human life cycle. (There is also a surprise ending with non-human plastinates, as well.)
There are nine Body Worlds exhibitions, which have been viewed by 40 million people throughout the world. Additional Body Worlds exhibitions are planned for the future.
During my sneak peek today, I had the chance to interview Dr. Angelina Whalley, the conceptual planner and creative designer of Body Worlds, as well as the wife of von Hagens.
I asked her if she believed Body Worlds exhibits made visitors more or less anxious about dying. Without hesitation, she answered my question.
"The exhibition is all about life. It is all about you. While walking through, you might be reminded that there is no eternity â€“ people get reflective while looking at this â€“ but I do believe people leave inspired," she said.
I also asked her if the exhibit was appropriate for children.
"Absolutely. It is suitable for anyone 12 years old or older but also for younger children who are curious," she said. "It provides the chance for the entire family to have a meaningful experience and discussions."
The cost, which includes admission to the rest of the museum, is $25 for adults ($17 for members), $22 for teens and students with IDs ($15 for members) and $18 for kids 3-12 ($13 for members.) Go here for tickets.Â
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Molly Snyder
Published Jan. 28, 2015
Actually, The Brass Tap, 7808 W. Layton Ave., has more than 80 brass taps, all lined up in a row behind the bar and ready to dispense craft beers - stouts to lagers to IPAs. The first Wisconsin franchise opened last week at the end of a strip mall in Greenfield.
Published Jan. 25, 2015
Whether your kid is more bouncy or more craft-oriented, there's a Brew City birthday party that can accommodate his / her wishes - and hopefully your budget.
Published Jan. 25, 2015
OnMilwaukee.com recently stopped in at Fink's for a brandy old fashioned and to talk with bartender Mario Lanza about music, travel, dogs and neck tattoos.
Published Jan. 24, 2015
Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission named Kimberly Blaeser as the new Wisconsin poet laureate for 2015-16. Recently, OnMilwaukee.com caught up with Blaeser and chatted with her about her writing, her family life, how being Native American influences her work, her favorite writers, the power of a good nap and what exactly the poet laureate does.
Published Jan. 23, 2015
Buddha Lounge, 1504 E. North Ave., opened on Monday and OnMilwaukee.com stopped by to sample the sushi and drink an Asian beer or two.
Published Jan. 21, 2015
Pride has always been a residual effect of riding, building or promoting Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and once again, the H-D pride is reinforced through the Harley-Davidson Museum's latest exhibit called "(P)ART: Photographs Revealing the Art of Mechanical Form." This new exhibit opened last week and runs through Sunday, May 17.
Published Jan. 18, 2015
Angela Damiani is the president of Newaukee, an organization once known as a young professionals group that rebranded itself in 2014 as a "social architecture firm." OnMilwaukee.com recently chatted with Damiani about her role in the organization, her vision for the future and got a peak at her life beyond Newaukee which recently included a wedding.
Published Jan. 17, 2015
Earlier this month, Steph Davies announced that her art and gift consignment shop, Waxwing, would close at the end of February. Well, plans have changed and The Waxwing will remain open through January 2016.
Published Jan. 17, 2015
Rockerbox moved to Road America in Elkhart Lake after being in Riverwest for a decade. So now get ready for the first Brewtown Rumble. The street festival will feature bikes, music, food, drinks, a swap meet, custom bike contest, vending, a pin-up girl contest and more. It take place on Sunday, May 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Best Place.
Published Jan. 16, 2015
Earlier this week, the Estabrook Beer Garden was vandalized. Although insurance will cover the cost of repair, a $1,000 reward is being offered to anyone who can provide information that leads to the arrest of the people responsible for the vandalism.