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See Dead People (and other such things) at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn

An exhibit from Brooklyn's Morbid Anatomy Museum

If you're looking for one more NYC adventure with the crew before Halloween… or for a memorable second-date idea… or, an off-beat destination when out-of-town visitors start showing up at your door hoping you'll entertain them… the new Morbid Anatomy Museum may your exact right move. Located within a couple of blocks of the F and R trains in Gowanus, The Morbid Anatomy Museum's new digs are spacious and comfortable, with an impressive 4,200 square feet spread out over three floors. There's a gift shop, cafe*, and space for their popular workshop, lecture, and screening series. And, appropriately enough, the entire exterior is painted black. But really, it's in the back room upstairs, as you explore tiny drawers and poke around cluttered shelves, where the Morbid Anatomy Museum's appeal truly lies.

Two headed duckings exhibited at The Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn.

Frightful Fun for Halloween at the Morbid Anatomy Museum

The Morbid Anatomy Museum describes itself (somewhat vaguely) as "a non-profit institution dedicated to the celebration and exhibition of artifacts, histories and ideas which fall between the cracks of high and low culture, death and beauty, and disciplinary divides." I don't really know what that means, but I DO know that the museum's permanent collection features lots of tiny skulls, desiccated bats and toads, lovely old photographs of ghosts, bad taxidermy of squirrels, and a two-head baby duck under glass. There's also a 2,000-volume e-library for students, writers and researchers, bizarre artworks and cultural ephemera–usually dealing with death, of course–from around the world, as well as a fair amount of medical moulages, or molds, once used for training. It's all pretty cool, definitely different, and visitors are encouraged to pick things up and experience the serendipity of, for example, discovering the hairy spider collection. 

Patrons browse in the library section of Brooklyn's Morbid Anatomy Museum

 Death Grows in Brooklyn; 'The Art of Mourning' Exhibit

The front gallery upstairs is where the Morbid Anatomy Museum stages its special exhibitions, and through early December that means The Art of Mourning. Here are post-mortem photographs from late 19th and early 20th centuries (usually with grim-faced family members or flowery tributes); "mourning paraphernalia" such as lockets, death masks and china (yes, like plates); and spirit photography, that late 1800s practice in which self-described "ghost hunters" proved the existence of the afterlife. And almost every evening the Morbid Anatomy Museum hosts a lecture (on subjects ranging from the Morbidity of Mathematics to Animal Mummies), or a film screening, like Stanley Kubrick's Boxes, a documentary about the one thousand sealed boxes the director left behind when he died. 

A bat exhibited at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn

More information on the Museum of Morbid Anatomy

The Museum of Morbid Anatomy is located on the corner of Third Avenue and 7th Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn. The museum and library are open every day except Tuesday from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m., the cafe and store stays open later, the events are often at night. For more information about everything, follow the Museum of Morbid Anatomy on Twitter.

A squirrel displayed in an exhibit at Brooklyn's Morbid Anatomy Museum

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