"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 – this time visitors see the body throughout the human life cycle from embryo to end of life.
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.
For example, one of the palatinates is doing a skateboard trick and two others are wearing ice skates.
Plus, the wall quotes are particularly uplifting, including, "Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old," by Franz Kafka, and Abe Lincoln’s wise words, "In the end, it’s not the years of your life that count, it’s the life in your years."
The amount of available information, especially for younger exhibit goers, is abundant. It’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 – people get reflective while looking at this – 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.
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 July 27, 2017
The massive, decrepit, patchwork-painted Sydney Hih (pronounced "high") buildings, which splayed on the corner of 3rd and Juneau from the mid-1800s to 2012, went through many transformations over the years, but are remembered by many Milwaukeeans as a sanctuary of counter-culture that created and quelled bands, businesses, relationships and lives.
Published July 26, 2017
The taco plate at Margarita Paradise is a tasty deal for $5 - and an even tastier deal when you add another taco for $7.
Published July 25, 2017
Even if you signed the back of your license and have the "donor dot" sticker does not mean you're registered as an organ donor. And organ donors are desperately needed.
Published July 24, 2017
OnMilwaukee unofficially declared last week "Loose Ends Week." This means a bunch of sh*t got done and a bunch didn't.
Published July 22, 2017
Bay View's Bounce Milwaukee is as much of a grown-up destination as it is a kid zone. Adults can jump, slide, laser, climb, box, play video games, sumo wrestle and more, in between drinking beers or cocktails and eating healthy (or not healthy) food.
Published July 20, 2017
Nic and Nicole Quiles plan to open Milwaukee's first Autism-friendly community café - called Caban's Cafe - in October 2017.
Published July 17, 2017
This past weekend, artist Mauricio Ramirez and the Walker's Point neighborhood honored the life and career of Selena with the installation of a new conceptual mural "Anything for Selena."
Published July 17, 2017
It's completely, unofficially Loose Ends Week. Let's get some sh*t done and feel good about ourselves.
Published July 14, 2017
Guy Rehorst - the founder and owner of Great Lakes Distillery - became curious about distilling after homebrewing what he describes as "a really bad batch of beer." Today, he owns the state's first distillery since Prohibition.
Published July 14, 2017
A Chicago Tribune reporter challenged three Chicago craft brewers to a blind taste test of 16 "macro" beers. Guess who prevailed?