Saturday, August 29, 2015

Morbid Anatomy Museum Built On Top Of (Or Adjacent To) Revolutionary War Burial Ground?

On the corner that the Morbid Anatomy Museum now occupies, there was once a plaque marking the intersection as the "Burial place of ye 256 Maryland soldiers who fell in ye combat at ye Cortelyou House on ye 27th day of August 1776." If Wikipedia is to be believed, these soldiers were part of the Maryland Regiment, who were termed "immortals" due to their bravery, and nicknamed "The Dandy Fifth" because they came so fancily equipped.

More on the regiment and the battle, also from Wikipedia:
The Maryland Regiment had joined the Continental Army barely two weeks before the Battle of Long Island. Unlike most of Washington's Army, the Maryland contingent had been well drilled at home and were so well equipped – they even had bayonets, a rarity for the Army – that the Regiment was known at home as the Dandy Fifth, and to the rest of the Army as "macaronis", the then current word for dandies...
The bravery of the Maryland Regiment earned them the name "immortals". The dead were buried in a mass grave consisting of six trenches in a farm field. The gravesite is located on what is now Third Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets. Until the widening of Third Avenue in 1910, the site was marked by a tablet that read: "Burial place of ye 256 Maryland soldiers who fell in ye combat at ye Cortelyou House on ye 27th day of August 1776." The result of the brief battle was stunning for the Americans. More than a thousand men were killed, captured, or missing. Generals Stirling and Sullivan were in the enemy's hands. The battalion had lost more than 250 of their number. Most of the Marylanders' casualties occurred in the retreat and desperate covering action at the Cortelyou House. Ultimately, of the original Maryland 400 muster, 96 returned, with only 35 fit for duty.

Historian, Thomas Field, writing in 1869, "The Battle of Long Island," called the stand of the Marylanders "an hour more precious to liberty than any other in history." Four companies of the 1st Maryland stood as the final anchor of the crumbled American front line, and their heroic action not only saved many of their fellows but afforded Washington critical respite to regroup and withdraw his battered troops to Manhattan and continue the struggle for independence.

Source: The Battle of Brooklyn 1776 by John J. Gallagher (Sarpedon Publishers, 1995)
More here. Click image to see larger version of image.

Thanks, Movie Mike, for bringing this to our attention!

AUCTION ALERT: "Out of the Ordinary" Auction of Curiosities; September 10, 2015 South Kensington, London

A few highlights from Christie's upcoming "Out of the Ordinary" curiosity auction; 10 September 2015 South Kensington, London. Thanks, Bart Grob, for bringing this to our attention!

See all lots and find out more here.

Images:
  1. An Italian Carved Marble 'Vanitas' Bust Of A Woman, Late 19th Century
  2. A South German Or Austrian Group Of Carved And Pierced Ivory And Bone Miniature Furniture
  3. A Life-Size Prototype Model Of A Gorilla, Dr. Louis Thomas Jérôme Auzoux, Circa 1863
  4. A Welsh Taxidermy Specimen Of A Polycephalic Lamb (Ovis Aries); Early 20th Centur
  5. A Late Victorian Taxidermy Caiman (Caiman Crocodilius) Mounted As A Dumbwaiter; Late 19th Early 20th Century
  6. A Taxidermy Model Of An Australian Flying Fox Or Fruit Bat (Pteropus), Late 19th Century
  7. French School, 18th Century, Ménage A Trois
  8. Sir Joseph Noel Paton, R.S.A. (Dunfermline, Fife, 1821-1909 Edinburgh); The Commander-In-Chief Of British Forces In The Crimea, And Staff.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Most Dangerous Game (1932) - The Hunt for Human Prey Showing on 16mm Film with Movie Mike: Guest Post by Peter M. Parrella (aka "Skeleton Pete")

Following is a guest post by Peter M. Parrella (aka "Skeleton Pete") about The Most Dangerous Game, a delightfully shocking pre-code tale of sex, violence and exoticism shot on the same sets--and starring much of the cast, including Fay Wray--as King Kong

Movie Mike will be screening the film at The Morbid Anatomy Museum in real 16mm next Tuesday, September 1st; more and tickets can be found here. Hope very much to see you there!

The Most Dangerous Game
Peter M. Parrella

In November of 1932, RKO Pictures released The Most Dangerous Game (MDG) based on Richard Connell’s short story with its treacherous twist on hunter and quarry. On the surface the film appears to be a typical jungle-chase adventure of its time. In the early 1930s the “bring ‘em back alive” exploits of zoo animal collector Frank Buck spawned two bestselling books. At the same time the first of the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan series (Tarzan, The Ape Man,) the tropical island love story Bird of Paradise, and the most outre of “animal” films The Island of Lost Souls were released.

The Most Dangerous Game, with its great looking Hollywood leads, Fay Wray and Joel McCrea, lecherous villain broadly played by Leslie Nielsen, and “shocker” trophies of his “game losers”, would also fulfill the fancies of a depression era audience hungry for thrills both exotic and (pre-Hays Code) erotic. In a historical context, The Most Dangerous Game serves as a Rosetta Stone for unlocking obscure details of its surrounding productions. As an inheritor of the artistic DNA of an aborted prehistoric monster film, Creation, and mid-wife to King Kong (KK), a masterpiece of celluloid fantasy, it reveals the genesis of collaborative convergence between two real life adventurers, a cutting edge special effects artist, and an art department steeped in the engravings of a renowned 19th century illustrator.

By late 1931, the co-producer/director team of Merian C. Cooper and Ernest Beaumont Schoedsack had come to RKO Pictures under the auspices of new vice president for production David O. Selznick. “Coop” and “Monty” had an ace in the hole when it came to adventure, both had a long list of real exploits behind them that would have made great movies in and of themselves. They had since exchanged their weapons for cameras, capturing footage of animals and indigenous populations in their natural habitats. Taking the standard travelogue a step further to include sparse but real life narrative, those raw materials, became the well-reviewed and money earning proto-documentaries, or “dramas of the wilderness,” Grass (1925) and Chang (1927). They also supplied spectacular live action scenes for the team’s feature version of The Four Feathers (1929). What they would imbue in their wholly fantastic films was a sense of verité. Both The Most Dangerous Game and King Kong share a frenetic quality created by men who knew what it meant to run for their lives, escaping human captors during World War 1 and wild animals while on safari. In The Most Dangerous Game Schoedsack applied some of the same visual techniques from his expeditionary days filming Zaroff’s slavering hounds from a low angle, having them literally trod over the viewer, just as he had years earlier with a herd of stampeding elephants in Chang.

Part of Selznick’s mandate at the failing studio was to assess the earning potential of films currently in the works, and to that end he requested Cooper’s aid. One such project was Creation, a lost world dinosaur drama that Cooper found wanting for its tepid script and lack of centralized antagonist. Though his assessment of Creation led to its shutdown, Cooper saw a “one door closes, another door opens” scenario. He had long been brewing a story about a giant gorilla battling ancient lizards. It has been reported that in those days before “no animals have been harmed during the making of this film” consciousness, he considered using live animals. Fortunately he found a perfect solution in the stop motion animation techniques of Willis O’Brien. He quickly pitched the idea to Selznick who trusted Cooper’s instincts enough to give a tacit go ahead and some funding cribbed from other productions. Cooper still needed final approval from the RKO executive board in New York City and put the fallow Creation team to work creating a now legendary “test reel” to convince them to green-light “Kong,” then alternately called The Beast and The Eighth Wonder.

Though The Most Dangerous Game is often looked upon as the little sibling of King Kong, one can point to their co-production as a reason the latter film was made at all. A healthy portion of the cost of live jungle set construction was charged against MDG’s budget, while its yacht set became King Kong’s ship cabin. King Kong’s script clearly notes where MDG assets are used, often referring to the “fog hollow” and jungle “ledge” sets. In fact, “fog hollow” is the same swampy terrain through which Count Zaroff’s hounds and Kong’s apatosaurus chase their respective victims. The films also shared a screenwriter in part. James Ashmore Creelman penned MDG's taut 63 minutes and the main action of King Kong’s jungle scenes, but ultimately left the production when he felt the story had become too convoluted. Still, Creelman’s no-time-to-think pacing of MDG likely informed the final release edit of King Kong. Several planned scenes of dinosaurs were ultimately cut to focus the action back on main story of beauty and the beast.

In addition to their jungle adventure trope, Creation, The Most Dangerous Game and King Kong also share a visual vocabulary based firmly on the etchings of illustrator Gustave Doré (1832-1883). In 1930, Lewis W. Physioc, a founding father of cinematography, wrote an article for the Cinematographic Annual exhorting cameramen to go beyond “crank turning” and embrace more artistic methods in mounting and lighting scenes. Though Doré’s influence can be traced as far back as the films of effects pioneer George Méliés, it is Physioc who delineated in print the value of the artist’s style pointing out that “…if there is one man’s work that can be taken as a cinematographer’s text, it is that of Doré’s. His stories are told in our own language of “black and white,” are highly imaginative and dramatic and should stimulate anybody’s ideas.” (Physioc, Lewis W. “Cinematography an Art Form.” Cinematographic Annual, April 1930, p. 25.) 

Physioc’s assessment of Doré as a master of the escapist art form of his time was spot on. The French illustrator’s visions for dozens of written works including Paradise Lost, the fables of La Fontaine, Dante’s Divine Comedy, and the Bible still inform our general view of how angels, devils and all things in between appear. I consider Orlando Furioso and The Rabelais milestones of pre-cinema fantasy.

Apparently embracing this entreaty, Chief Effects Technician and head animator Willis O’Brien (The Lost World, 1925) supplied copies of Doré prints to the production artists, matte painters and miniature set builders who dutifully emulated the engravings from the ancient gnarled roots of dark forests where the sky is rarely seen except through a dense canopy of leaves and vines to the striations of their craggy rocks and mountains. Many of Doré’s major plates exhibit an engraving method that gives the illusion of great depth even in their two dimensional medium. A dark surrounding area in the forefront, analogous to the proscenium arch of a theater stage, draws the viewer into the well lit mid-area where the action takes place, while less contrasty engraved lines in the background create the look of distance. RKO studio artists and technicians followed this guide, using severals layers of glass painted mattes, miniature foliage on multiple animation tables, and low contrast backgrounds painted on masonite flats all meticulously aligned to complete the effective vision.

One example of this method—possibly the most iconic of shared sets—features a jungle chasm spanned by a log bridge and was prominently used in the scenarios of all three films discussed here. It has its origins in a beautifully detailed Doré plate for François-René de Chateaubriand’s Atala (1801), that depicts several Native Americans crossing a log bridge in a primeval setting.


Had Creation been completed it would have been the scene of a giant dual horned prehistoric mammal, an arsinoitherium, attacking a group of sailors attempting to cross to safety. Though no remnants of it appear to exist it was apparently interpolated into the “Kong” test reel only to be excised for final release. Of course, Kong himself gets his own star turn on the other side of that log, shaking the sailors to their doom at the bottom of the chasm. The action was famously changed from their being devoured by giant spiders and insects to dying in the fall for the release print. The Most Dangerous Game actually affords us the loveliest view of the miniature log set

as Wray and McCrea traverse it to escape Zaroff’s dogs and henchmen, stopping just long enough to allow us to take in the grandeur of its scope.
By benefitting from several disparate serendipities The Most Dangerous Game stands above its pot-boiler trappings.

Though never completing another adventure of the caliber of King Kong, Merian Cooper, Ernest Schoedsack and Willis O’Brien went on to create the totally engaging Mighty Joe Young in 1949. The art of Gustave Doré found later acolytes in O’Brien/Physioc protegé Ray Harryhausen (Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, 1957, Jason and the Argonauts, 1963) and in the characters of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal (1982) and Labyrinth (1986). 

Images:
  1. RKO-Radio Pictures' pre-Hays Code poster art for The Most Dangerous Game made no secret of the fate met by losers of Count Zaroff’s hunts.
  2. Atala, by Chateaubriand “In a valley to the north, at some distance from the grand village, was a wood of cypresses and deals, called the Wood of Blood; it was reached by the ruins of one of those monuments of which the origin is ignored, and which were the work of a people now unknown.” In the days before movies, Gustave Doré’s illustrations represented the pinnacle of popular art. His compositional nuances and handling of light and shade made his works a perfect guide for early cinematographers invested in elevating their own art a generation later. This magnificent plate for Chateaubriand’s “new world” romance, Atala, deeply influenced the look and action of The Most Dangerous Game, King Kong and their uncompleted forefather, Creation. Scanned from the author’s collection, original size 8 x 9.75 inches on 9.5 X 13 inch page.
  3. This collaborative pre-production art (circa 1930) by Byron Crabbe, Willis O’Brien, and Mario Larrinaga, for the unrealized Creation project, depicts a scene eventually brought to the screen in King Kong. The ancient ruins and rendering of that telltale log bridge clearly reveals the influence of Doré’s Atala illustration.
  4. Though King Kong employs the log bridge set to much more dramatic effect, this shot from The Most Dangerous Game, a mix of live action, multiple layers of glass painting, miniature and real foliage, and matte art, affords us the most artfully lit and Doré-esque glimpse of the tableaux. The two films share more than a similar cast. MDG’s budget defrayed the costs of many of Kong’s production assets.
  5. Clearly bearing the influence of Gustave Doré’s aesthetic, the action on the log bridge became a centralized motif, likely under Willis O’Brien’s urging. Between December 1931, when it was pitched, and March 1932, when it was green lighted, King Kong inherited most of the effects assets (including dinosaur animation models) as well as some of the scenarios of the cancelled film Creation. Top Left: Byron Crabbe and Willis O’Brien’s concept art for Creation depicts a prehistoric mammal, an arsinoitherium, attacking sailors crossing a log bridge. Top Right: The scene realized in miniature on an animation table and likely finalized for King Kong’s “proof of theory” test reel. Middle: A change of antagonist. King Kong shakes sailor’s to their death in later production art. Bottom: The live stage set in early production closely adheres to the chiaroscuro effects of the production artwork.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Morbid Anatomy Flea Market at the Bell House! Medicine, Mediumship & Messages! Bela Lugosi in "White Zombie"! The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Returns!

Morbid Anatomy Flea Market Photo by Gretchen Robinette
We have many wonderful upcoming events at the Morbid Anatomy Museum!

Having outgrown our humble space, the Morbid Anatomy Flea Market moves to The Bell House August 30th with more vendors, more oddities, and special drinks to boot!Our last flea market saw such an overwhelming turnout that some guests waited two or more hours for a chance to peruse offerings from Ryan Matthew Cohn of TV'sOddities, David Wolin's Invisible Gallery, Daisy Tainton, Elizabeth New, Wilder Duncan, Mark Splatter, Margaret Cross and others. This time around we're offering museum members early access one hour before doors open to the general public. Membership starts at only $50 for the year and includes unlimited access to our exhibits and library, advance notice of our often sold-out events, store and cafe discounts, and special pricing on our popular Dilettanti Society Happy Hour and museum parties! Learn more and purchase your membership here.

We also have a fantastic lineup of upcoming lectures and films. Dr. Ian Rubenstein will explore the juncture where medicine and mediumship collide beginning with a personal account of an encounter with the other side (Tuesday, September 8th); due to popular demand we've added a second showing of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with live music by Brooklyn composer and sound artist M.V. Carbon (Wednesday, October 21st); we'll screen the 1932 Bela Lugosi classic White Zombie in 16mm with Morbid Anatomy arcane media specialist Joel Schlemowitz who'll mix White Zombie-themed cocktails for a special drinking game during the film (Wednesday, November 4th); and Morbid Anatomy taxidermist in residence offers workshops in raccoon shoulder mounts (Saturday, November 7th), rat taxidermy (Sunday, November 8th), and wet specimen preparation (Saturday, December 19th).

This week Stephen Romano presents artworks from his personal collection and takes guests on a special curator's tour of Opus Hypnagogia in our Dilettanti Society Happy Hour with seasonal cocktails by Art in the Age (Thursday, August 27th, 6 pm to 8 pm); and The Morbid Anatomy Flea Market comes to the Bell House (noon to 6 pm with early access for museum members beginning at 11 am). Seeing us into next week we'll have Louise De Winter with a return engagement of Death Cafe, a safe and relaxed space to meet new people and discuss all matters of life and death (Tuesday, September 1st from 6 pm to 8 pm); and Movie Mike's screening of the 1932 film The Most Dangerous Game, a tale of shipwreck and the hunt for human prey, in 16mm (Tuesday, September 1st).

To avoid sold out events—and to get exclusive hour-early access to our August 30thflea market—become a Morbid Anatomy Museum Member! Besides early entry and advance notice of events, members also enjoy discounted admissions and unlimited free museum entry, and help us keep a roof over our heads! Find out more here.

There is also still time to enter our special fundraising raffle, where you have a chance to win a trip for two with hotel and airfare included from your home city to the Morbid Anatomy Museum this October for Day of the Dead! Must enter by September 20th, and winner will be announced on September 21st. Details can be found here.

Finally, we're thrilled to announce our new Morbid Anatomy Anthology Deluxe Handmade Slipcased Limited Edition shipping mid to late November, just in time for Christmas! This special collector's edition includes a handmade letterpress booklet containing a toast written and signed by artistic advisor Mark Dion; a DVD of filmmaker in residence Ronni Thomas' film "Walter Potter: The Man who Married Kittens" along with other Morbid Anatomy Presents shorts; a signed and numbered archival 5 X 7 photo print of the Palermo Catacombs by creative director Joanna Ebenstein, AND a one year membership to the Morbid Anatomy Museum. All for $150 Learn more and order your copy here.

List of events follows. Hope to see you at one or more!

IMMEDIATELY UPCOMING EVENTS
The Dilettanti Society Happy Hour - Cocktails and Show and Tell in the Morbid Anatomy Library with Curator Stephen Romano
Thursday August 27th, 6 pm to 9 pm, $12 for members, limited to 20 people. Tickets and more info here.

Demystifying Shamanism: An Illustrated Presentation with Dr. Stanley KrippnerFriday, August 28th, 8 pm, $12, SOLD OUT (more info here).
Morbid Anatomy Flea Market at the Bell House
August 30th, 12 - 6 pm (Members get 11:00 AM entry) at The Bell House (149 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215, a block away from the Morbid Anatomy Museum). More info here. 
Death Cafe with Louise de Winter
Tuesday, September 1st, 6 to 8 pm. FREE. More info here. 
Most Dangerous Game (1932) - The Hunt for Human Prey Showing on 16mm film with Movie Mike
Tuesday, September 1st, 8 pm, $10. Tickets and more info here.
NEWLY ANNOUNCED EVENTS
Medicine, Mediumship and Messages: an Illustrated Presentation with Dr. Ian RubensteinTuesday, September 8th, 8 pm, $5. Tickets and more info here
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on 16mm with live music by M.V. CarbonWednesday, October 21st, 8 pm, $12. Tickets and more info here
Bela Lugosi in "White Zombie" screening in 16mm with White Zombie Cocktails!Wednesday November 4th, 8 pm, $10. Tickets and more info here.
Raccoon Shoulder Mounts taxidermy Class with Katie InnamoratoSaturday, November 7th, 12 pm to 6 pm. $400. Tickets and more info here.
Rat Taxidermy Class with Katie InnamoratoSunday, November 8th, 12 pm to 6 pm, $215. Tickets and more info here.
Wet Specimen Class with Katie InnamoratoSaturday, December 19th, 12 pm to 2 pm, $100. Tickets and more info here.=
ALL UPCOMING EVENTS
The Dilettanti Society Happy Hour - Cocktails and Show and Tell in the Morbid Anatomy Library with Curator Stephen Romano
Thursday August 27th, 6 pm to 9 pm, $12 for members, limited to 20 people. Tickets and more info here. 
Demystifying Shamanism: An Illustrated Presentation with Dr. Stanley KrippnerFriday, August 28th, 8 pm, $12, SOLD OUT (more info here).
Morbid Anatomy Flea Market at the Bell HouseAugust 30th, 12 - 6 pm (Members get 11:00 AM entry) at The Bell House (149 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215, a block away from the Morbid Anatomy Museum). More info here
Death Cafe with Louise de Winter Tuesday, September 1st, 6 to 8 pm. FREE. More info here.
Most Dangerous Game (1932) - The Hunt for Human Prey Showing on 16mm film with Movie MikeTuesday, September 1st, 8 pm, $10. Tickets and more info here.
Cursed Gemstones: Legend and History, an Illustrated Lecture with Karen BachmannWednesday, September 2nd, 8 pm, $8. Tickets and more info here
Can Reading Make You Sick? - The Strange History of the Idea of Books as a Cause of Disease with Historian of Medicine Dr. James KennawaySaturday, September 5th, 8 pm, $8. Tickets and more info here
Medicine, Mediumship and Messages: an Illustrated Presentation with Dr. Ian RubensteinTuesday, September 8th, 8 pm, $5. Tickets and more info here
Death and Disaster on the (Gramophone) Record, An Illustrated Lecture by Michael "MAC" Cumella
Wednesday, September 9th, 8 pm, $8. Tickets and more info here.
Charles Fort and the Forteans that Followed, an Illustrated Lecture with Doug Skinner Thursday, September 10th, 8 pm, $8, Tickets (and more info) here
Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy Class, One or Two Headed with Divya AnantharamanSaturday, September 12th, 10 pm - 6 pm, $120. Tickets and more info here
English Sparrow Taxidermy Class with Divya AnantharamanSunday, September 13th, 12 pm - 7 pm, $195. Tickets and more info here
Anatomical Self Portrait Class With Karen Bachmann for Ages 8-12Monday, September 14th, 4 pm to 6 pm, $50. Tickets and more into here
Cults and Secret Societies: A to Z, An Illustrated Lecture with Julie TibbottWednesday, September 16th, 8 pm, $8 or $13 for a two lecture pass. Tickets and more info here
"It is Here the Romance of My Life Began": The Construction of Frontier Masculinity in Late-Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century America, An Illustrated Lecture with Michael McMenaminThursday, September 17th, 8 pm, $8. Tickets and more info here.
Starling Taxidermy Class with Katie InnamoratoSaturday, September 19th, 12 to 7 pm, $275. Tickets and more info here
Fancy Chicken Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman and Katie InnamoratoSunday, September 20th, 12 pm to 7:30 pm, $400. Tickets and more info here
Morbidity of Mathematics #2: Mathematical Murder, An illustrated lecture with Michael Carlisle
Tuesday, September 22nd, 8 pm, $8, Tickets (and more info) here
Secret New York Exposed, An Illustrated Lecture with Julie TibbotSeptember, 23rd, 8 pm, $8 or $13 for a two lecture pass. Tickets and more info here
Mesmerism and Hypnosis: An Illustrated Lecture with Andrew ScullFriday, September 25th, 8 pm, $8. Tickets and more info here.
The Luxor Mummy: The Fantasy and Reality of Egyptian Mummy Magic, an Illustrated Lecture with Ava Forte Vitali Tuesday, September 29th, 8 pm, $8, Tickets (and more info) here
Down the Hatch: The History and Anatomy of Sword Swallowing: An Illustrated Lecture with Ilise S. Carter aka The Lady Aye Wednesday, September 30th, 8 pm, $8, Tickets (and more info) here 
You Can't Kill Me, I'm Already Dead: Notes from a Gothic Life: An Illustrated Lecture with Evan Michelson.Friday, October 2nd, 8pm, $15 ( Oct. 2nd. Lecture + Oct 3rd Party Pass is $25 for Morbid Anatomy Members ) Tickets and more info here
Anthropomorphic Rabbit Taxidermy Class with Divya AnantharamanSaturday, October 3rd (DAY), 10 am - 7 pm, $300. Tickets and more info here
Propaganda Magazine Party with Fred Berger. Saturday, October 3rd (EVE), 8 pm, $25 ( Oct. 2nd. Lecture + Oct 3rd Party Pass is $25 for Morbid Anatomy Members ) Tickets and more info here
Archaeopteryx, Microraptors and Hopeful Monsters - Rogue Taxidermy Bird Dinosaur class with Divya AnnantharamanSunday, October 4th, 12 pm - 6:30 pm, $180. Tickets and more info here
Hannibal Lecter, Book Collector, An Illustrated Lecture with Elisabeth Brander, Rare Book Librarian at Washington University Thursday, October 8th, 8 pm, Tickets (and more info) here
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on 16mm with live music by M.V. CarbonWednesday, October 14th, 8 pm, $12. Tickets and more into here
The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World, an Illustrated lecture with David Jaher.Friday, October 16th, 8 pm, $5, Tickets (and more info) here
Jackalope Head Mount Taxidermy Class with Katie InnamoratoSunday, October 18th, 12 pm to 6 pm, $250 Tickets and more info here
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on 16mm with live music by M.V. CarbonWednesday, October 21st, 8 pm, $12. Tickets and more info here
"Witchcraft Through the Ages" (Häxan) - Polka music! Butter Churns!! 16mm silent film screening with Victrola!!! Monday, October 26th, 8 pm, $12, SOLD OUT (and more info) here
Bela Lugosi in "White Zombie" screening in 16mm with White Zombie Cocktails!Wednesday November 4th, 8 pm, $10. Tickets and more info here
Raccoon Shoulder Mounts taxidermy Class with Katie InnamoratoSaturday, November 7th, 12 pm to 6 pm. $400. Tickets and more info here.
Rat Taxidermy Class with Katie InnamoratoSunday, November 8th, 12 pm to 6 pm, $215. Tickets and more info here.
Victorian Hair Art Workshop with Master Jeweler Karen BachmannSaturday, November 14th, 11 am to 6 pm (with one hour lunch break), $150. Tickets and more info here
"Spirit of the Magpie: Hidden Keys to the Scavenger's Scrapbook": An Audiovisual Trance Journey with Stopmotion animation and improvised soundWednesday, November 18th, 8 pm, $12, Tickets (and more info) here
Dial P for Pagan: Madeline Schwartzman's Campus of Curiosities Shown on 16mm Film! Wednesday, December 2nd, 8 pm, $10. Tickets and more info here
"Mummy Cat," a picture book presentation and signing with illustrator Lisa BrownSaturday, December 5th, 3 pm, Free, More here 
Squirrel Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman
Saturday, December 5th, 12 pm - 7:30 pm, $285. Tickets and more info here
Fancy Pigeon Taxidermy Class with Divya AnantharamanSunday, December 6th, 12 pm - 7 pm, $285. Tickets and more info here
Wet Specimen Class with Katie InnamoratoSaturday, December 19th,12 pm to 2 pm, $100. Tickets and more info here.
Victorian Hair Art Workshop with Master Jeweler Karen BachmannSunday, December 20th, 11 am to 6 pm (with one hour lunch break), $150. Tickets and more info here.

Ermine Taxidermy Class with Divya AnantharamanSaturday, January 9th, 12 pm - 7:30 pm, $200. Tickets and more info here
Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy Class, One or Two Headed with Divya AnantharamanSunday, January 10th, 12 pm - 6 pm, $120. Tickets and more info here
Fancy Rat Taxidermy Class with Divya AnantharamanSaturday, February 27th, 12 pm - 6 pm, $200. Tickets and more info here
European Starling Taxidermy Class with Divya AnantharamanSunday, February 28th, 12 pm - 7 pm, $275. Tickets and more info here.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Morbid Anatomy Anthology Deluxe Limited Edition and Signed Copies of Harold Schechter's "Man-Eater" Now in the Giftshop!

We at Morbid Anatomy are thrilled to announce our new Morbid Anatomy Anthology Deluxe Handmade Slipcased Limited Edition shipping mid to late November, just in time for Christmas!

Limited to only 110 copies, each newly revised second edition of our long sold out Morbid Anatomy Anthology is housed in a custom handmade black-on-black slipcase embossed with silver foil, and is signed and numbered by co-editors Colin Dickey and Joanna Ebenstein. This lavishly illustrated full-color 500 page collection contains 28 essays based on some of the most popular lectures hosted at Morbid Anatomy including pieces by Evan Michelson (star of Science Channel’s hit show "Oddities") on the catacombs of Palermo, Simon Chaplin (head of the Wellcome Library) on public displays of corpses in Georgian England, mortician Caitlin Doughty (author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes) on demonic children, and Paul Koudounaris (author of Empire of Death) on a truck stop populated with human skulls. Included is a handmade letterpress booklet containing a toast written and signed by artistic advisor Mark Dion; a DVD of filmmaker in residence Ronni Thomas' film "Walter Potter: The Man who Married Kittens" along with other Morbid Anatomy Presents shorts; AND a one year membership to the Morbid Anatomy Museum. All for $150.

Additionally, all preorders receive a signed and numbered archival 5 X 7 photo print of the Palermo Catacombs by creative director Joanna Ebenstein.

We also have a very limited number of signed copies of Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal, the latest book from true crime writer Harold Schecther. Man-Eater follows the story of a small group of prospectors who lost their way in the frozen wilderness of the Colorado Rockies in 1873. The ensuing events would become one of America's most notorious cannibalism cases.

Pick up copies of The Morbid Anatomy Deluxe Anthology here and signed copies of Harold Schechter's Man Eater here!

Monday, August 10, 2015

St. Florian Gowanus Pageant! Forensic Pathology! Cursed Gemstones! Secret Societies! Upcoming Morbid Anatomy Events

St Florian Indulgence Card, c. 1880. See more in our Saint Florian Gowanus Pageant, Procession & Variety Show this Sunday!

We have many wonderful upcoming events at the Morbid Anatomy Museum!

First up, if you haven't had a chance to check out our latest exhibition, what better way to do so than with its curator and a drink in hand? Dilettanti Society Happy Hour returns Thursday, August 27th with special guest Stephen Romano, gallerist and curator of Opus Hypnagogia: Sacred Spaces of the Visionary and Vernacular. Stephen's show and tell will include artworks from his personal collection and be followed by a curator's tour of the exhibit. Delicious artisinal libations will be served by our gracious sponsors Art in the Age


Other exciting newly announced events include Forensic Pathology 101, a crash course in forensic theories covering firearm mechanics and gunshot wounds with medical examiner and forensic pathologist, Jay Stahl-Herz, MD (Tuesday, August 18th); Movie Mike's screening of 1932's Most Dangerous Game—a tale of shipwreck, a lonely island's enigmatic castle-dwelling count, and the hunt for human prey—in 16mm film! (Tuesday, September 1st); Cursed Gemstones: Legend and History, master jeweler Karen Bachmann's talk on the facts and folklore behind some of history's most notorious jewels (Wednesday, September 2nd); and author Julie Tibbott in a two-lecture engagement, Cults and Secret Societies: A to Z and Secret New York Exposed, (Wednesdays, September 16th and 23rd with discounted combo tickets for both lectures available via the links). 


For those looking to broaden their arcane skill set, we've got some fantastic workshops lined up including starling, grey fox head, and jackalope head taxidermy classes with Morbid Anatomy resident taxidermist, Katie Innamorato, and Victorian hair art workshops in November and December with master jeweler and Morbid Anatomy scholar in residence, Karen Bachmann.

We hope that you'll join us this Sunday, August 16th for our Saint Florian Gowanus Pageant, Procession and Variety Show beginning promptly at 2:30 pm at the museum and culminating at Royal Palms Shuffleboard with talks, presentations, and short films covering such topics as the forensic challenges posed by bodies found in water, a survey of animal life in and around the Gowanus canal, a sword swallower's hunt for the patron saint of sideshow performers (complete with a live demonstration), and much, much more! Special Gowanus-themed drinks will be available as well as complementary shuffleboard!

And rounding out this week we have Man Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal, an illustrated lecture and book release party with true crime writer Harold Schechter, author of The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers; Common Shade: Dr. Seth A Gopin on the Rural Cemetery in Paris and Beyond offsite at Greenwood Cemetery; Death Cafe, a (free) safe and relaxing space to discuss all matters of life and death facilitated by British funeral planner Louise de Winter; Dilettanti Society Happy Hour with Tim Mullen on "Victorian Electricity"; and The Embalmed Head of Oliver Cromwell: A Memoir: An Illustrated Lecture with Marc Hartzman exploring the posthumous fate of the man who led the charge in the beheading of England's King Charles I in 1649.

 To avoid sold out events—and to get exclusive hour-early access to our August 30 flea market—become a Morbid Anatomy Museum Member! Besides early entry and advance notice of events, members also enjoy discounted admissions and unlimited free museum entry, and help us keep a roof over our heads! Find out more here.


There is also still time to enter our special fundraising raffle, where you have a chance to win a trip for two with hotel and airfare included from your home city to the Morbid Anatomy Museum this October for Day of the Dead! Must enter by September 20th, and winner will be announced on September 21st. Details can be found here.

Lastly, we're thrilled to announce that the Morbid Anatomy Anthology has been sent out for its second printing! Secure your copy of this popular, sold-out collection of some of our favorite essays and color photographs by preordering today! To learn more or to place your order, please click here.
 


List of events follows. Hope to see you at one or more!

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MEDIATELY UPCOMING EVENTS 

  • Man Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal: Illustrated Lecture and Book Party with Harold Schechter 
    Monday, August 10th, 8 pm, $5. Tickets and more info here.

     
  • Common Shade: Dr. Seth A. Gopin on the Rural Cemetery in Paris and Beyond at Greenwood Cemetery Tuesday, August 11th, 7:30 pm ***offsite at the Historic Chapel at Greenwood Cemetery (500 25th St. Brooklyn, NY 11232) $25 general admission/ $20 members. Tickets and more info here.
     
  • Death Café with British Funeral Planner Louise de Winter Tuesday, August 11th, 6-8, FREE; NO TICKETS NEEDED; more info here.
     
  • Morbid Anatomy and Art in the Age present The Dilettanti Society Happy Hour – Cocktails and Show and Tell in the Morbid Anatomy Library with Tim Mullen on "Victorian Electricity"
    Thursday, August 13th, 6 to 8 pm, $20 general admission/ $12 members. Limited to 20 people. Tickets and more info here.

     
  • Saint Florian Pageant, Procession, and Variety Show Sunday, August 16; 2:30 - 6:30; Morbid Anatomy Museum and Royal Palms Shuffleboard Court, $20, Tickets (and more info) here.
     
  • The Embalmed Head of Oliver Cromwell: A Memoir: An Illustrated Lecture with Marc Hartzman Monday, August 17th, 8pm, $8, Tickets (and more info) here.
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NEWLY ANNOUNCED EVENTS
    • Forensic Pathology 101: Gunshot Wounds, An Illustrated Lecture with Jay Stahl-Herz, Medical Examiner and Forensic Pathologist
      Tuesday, August 18th, 8 pm, $8. Tickets and more info here.
    • The Dilettanti Society Happy Hour - Cocktails and Show and Tell in the Morbid Anatomy Library with Curator Stephen Romano
      Thursday August 27th, 6 pm to 9pm, $12 for members, limited to 20 people. Tickets and more info here.
    • Most Dangerous Game (1932) - The Hunt for Human Prey Showing on 16mm film with Movie Mike
      Tuesday, September 1st, 8 pm, $10. Tickets and more info here.
    • Cursed Gemstones: Legend and History, an Illustrated Lecture with Karen Bachmann
      Wednesday, September 2nd, 8 pm, $8. Tickets and more info here.
    • Cults and Secret Societies: A to Z, An Illustrated Lecture with Julie Tibbott
      Wednesday, September 16th, 8 pm, $8 or $13 for a two lecture pass. Tickets and more infohere.
    • Secret New York Exposed, An Illustrated Lecture with Julie Tibbott
      September, 23rd, 8 pm, $8 or $13 for a two lecture pass. Tickets and more info here.
    • Starling Taxidermy Class with Katie Innamorato
      Saturday, September 19th, 12 to 7 pm, $275. Tickets and more info here.
    • Grey Fox Head Mounts Taxidermy Class with Katie Innamorato
      Sunday, October 11th, 12 pm to 7 pm, $400 . Tickets and more info here.
    • Jackalope Head Mount Taxidermy Class with Katie Innamorato
      Sunday, October 18th, 12 pm to 6 pm, $250 Tickets and more info here.
    • Victorian Hair Art Workshop with Master Jeweler Karen Bachmann
      Saturday, November 14th, 11 am to 6 pm (with one hour lunch break), $150. Tickets and more info here.
    • Victorian Hair Art Workshop with Master Jeweler Karen Bachmann
      Sunday, December 20th, 11 am to 6 pm (with one hour lunch break), $150. Tickets and more info here.
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    ALL UPCOMING EVENTS
    • "Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal: An Illustrated Lecture and Book Party with Harold Schechter. Monday, August 10th, 8pm, $5, Tickets and more info here.
    • Death Café with Louise de Winter at the Morbid Anatomy Museum Cafe Tuesday, August 11, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, Free, Tickets and more info here.
    • Common Shade: Dr. Seth A. Gopin on the Rural Cemetery in Paris and Beyond at Greenwood Cemetery Tuesday, August 11, 7:30 pm,  $25 / Members $20, Tickets (and more info) here** Offsite: Location: The Historic Chapel at Greenwood Cemetery (500 25th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232
    • Morbid Anatomy and Art in the Age present The Dilettanti Society Happy Hour - Cocktails and Show and Tell in the Morbid Anatomy Library with Tim Mullen on "Victorian Electricity" Thursday, August 13th, 6 - 8 pm, $12 for members. Tickets and more info here.
    • Midcentury Stereopanorama with Eric Drysdale: Look and see the 1950s in 3-D! Thursday, August 13th, 8pm, $20, Tickets (and more info) here. SOLD OUT 
    • First Annual Morbid Anatomy Saint Florian Gowanus Pageant, Procession and Variety Show: Procession, shuffleboard, drink specials, and Gowanus-themed variety show with music, lectures, sword swallowing, films and drink specials! Sunday, August 16; 2:30 - 6:30; Morbid Anatomy Museum and Royal Palms Shuffleboard Court, $20, Tickets (and more info) here.
    • The Embalmed Head of Oliver Cromwell: A Memoir: An Illustrated Lecture with Marc Hartzman Monday, August 17th, 8pm, $8, Tickets (and more info) here.
       
    • Forensic Pathology 101: Gunshot Wounds, An Illustrated Lecture with Jay Stahl-Herz, Medical Examiner and Forensic Pathologist
      Tuesday, August 18th, 8 pm, $8. Tickets and more info here.
    • Book Party for "The Zombie of Great Peru," by Pierre-Corneille Blessebois, translated by Doug Skinner Thursday, August 20th, 8pm, $5, Tickets (and more info) here.
       
    • Starling Taxidermy Class with Katie Innamorato  Saturday, August 22nd, 12pm - 6pm, $275 (all tickets include admission to the museum), Tickets (and more info) here
    • Rat/ Guinea Pig with Wings Gaff Taxidermy Class with Katie Innamorato  Sunday, August 23rd, 12pm - 6pm, $235 (all tickets include admission to the museum), Tickets (and more info) here.
       
    • The Dilettanti Society Happy Hour - Cocktails and Show and Tell in the Morbid Anatomy Library with Curator Stephen Romano
      Thursday August 27th, 6 pm to 9pm, $12 for members, limited to 20 people. Tickets and more info here
    • Demystifying Shamanism: An Illustrated Presentation with Dr. Stanley Krippner Friday, August 28th, 8 pm, $12, SOLD OUT (more info here).
    • Myth, Magic and Michael Jackson: Illustrated Presentation and Michael Jackson Karaoke Birthday Party Saturday, August 29th, 8pm, $20/$15 for members, Tickets (and more info) here.
    • Morbid Anatomy Flea Market at the Bell House August 30th, 12 - 6 pm (Members get 11:00 AM entry) at The Bell House (149 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215, a block away from the Morbid Anatomy Museum). More info here.
       
    • Most Dangerous Game (1932) - The Hunt for Human Prey Showing on 16mm film with Movie Mike Tuesday, September 1st,  8 pm, $10. Tickets and more info here.
       
    • Cursed Gemstones: Legend and History, an Illustrated Lecture with Karen Bachmann
      Wednesday, September 2nd, 8 pm, $8. Tickets and more info here.
    • Can Reading Make You Sick? - The Strange History of the Idea of Books as a Cause of Disease with Historian of Medicine Dr. James Kennaway Saturday, September 5th, 8 pm, $8. Tickets and more info here.
    • Charles Fort and the Forteans that Followed, an Illustrated Lecture with Doug Skinner  Thursday, September 10th, 8pm, $8, Tickets (and more info) here.
    • Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy Class, One or Two Headed with Divya Anantharaman Saturday, September 12th, 10pm - 6 pm, $120. Tickets and more info here.
       
    • Cults and Secret Societies: A to Z, An Illustrated Lecture with Julie Tibbott
      Wednesday, September 16th, 8 pm, $8 or $13 for a two lecture pass. Tickets and more info here.
    • English Sparrow Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman Sunday, September 13th, 12 pm - 7 pm, $195. Tickets and more info here.
       
    • Starling Taxidermy Class with Katie Innamorato
      Saturday, September 19th12 to 7 pm, $275. Tickets and more info here.
    • Fancy Chicken Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman and Katie Innamorato Sunday, September 20th, 12 pm to 7:30 pm, $400. Tickets and more info here.
    • Morbidity of Mathematics #2: Mathematical Murder, An illustrated lecture with Michael Carlisle Tuesday, September 22nd, 8pm, $8, Tickets (and more info) here.
       
    • Secret New York Exposed, An Illustrated Lecture with Julie Tibbott
      September, 23rd, 8 pm, $8 or $13 for a two lecture pass. Tickets and more info here.
    • The Luxor Mummy: The Fantasy and Reality of Egyptian Mummy Magic, an Illustrated Lecture with Ava Forte Vital  Tuesday, September 29th, 8 pm, $8, Tickets (and more info) here.
    • Down the Hatch: The History and Anatomy of Sword Swallowing: An Illustrated Lecture with Ilise S. Carter aka The Lady Aye  Wednesday, September 30th, 8pm, $8, Tickets (and more info) here
    • You Can't Kill Me, I'm Already Dead: Notes from a Gothic Life: An Illustrated Lecture with Evan Michelson. Friday, October 2nd, 8pm, $15 ( Oct. 2nd. Lecture + Oct 3rd Party Pass is $25 for Morbid Anatomy Members ) Tickets and more info here.
    • Anthropomorphic Rabbit Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman Saturday, October 3rd (DAY), 10 am - 7 pm, $300. Tickets and more info here
    • Propaganda Magazine Party with Fred Berger.   Saturday, October 3rd (EVE), 8pm, $25 ( Oct. 2nd. Lecture + Oct 3rd Party Pass is $25 for Morbid Anatomy Members ) Tickets and more info here.
    • Archaeopteryx, Microraptors and Hopeful Monsters - Rogue Taxidermy Bird Dinosaur class with Divya Annantharaman Sunday, October 4th, 12 pm - 6:30 pm, $180. Tickets and more info here.
    • Hannibal Lecter, Book Collector, An Illustrated Lecture with Elisabeth Brander, Rare Book Librarian at Washington University  Thursday, October 8th, 8pm, Tickets (and more info) here.
    • The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World, an Illustrated lecture with David Jaher. Friday, October 16th, 8pm, $5, Tickets (and more info) here.
       
    • Jackalope Head Mount Taxidermy Class with Katie Innamorato
      Sunday, October 18th, 12 pm to 6 pm, $250 Tickets and more info here.
    • "Witchcraft Through the Ages" (Häxan) - Polka music! Butter Churns!! 16mm silent film screening with Victrola!!!  Monday, October 26th, 8pm, $12, SOLD OUT (and more info) here.
       
    • Victorian Hair Art Workshop with Master Jeweler Karen Bachmann
      Saturday, November 14th, 11 am to  6 op (with one hour lunch break), $150. Tickets and more info here.
    • "Spirit of the Magpie: Hidden Keys to the Scavenger's Scrapbook" An audiovisual trance journey with stopmotion animation and improvised sound Wednesday, November 18th, 8pm, $12, Tickets (and more info) here
    • Dial P for Pagan: Madeline Schwartzman's Campus of Curiosities Shown on 16mm Film!
      Wednesday, December 2nd, 8 pm, $10. Tickets and more info here.
       
    • "Mummy Cat," a picture book presentation and signing with illustrator Lisa Brown Saturday, December 5th, 3pm, Free, More here
       
    • Squirrel Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman Saturday, December 5th, 12 pm - 7:30 pm, $285. Tickets and more info here.
       
    • Fancy Pigeon Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman Sunday, December 6th, 12 pm - 7 pm, $285. Tickets and more info here.
       
    • Victorian Hair Art Workshop with Master Jeweler Karen Bachmann Sunday, December 20th, 11 am to 6 pm (with one hour lunch break), $150. Tickets and more info here
    • Ermine Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman Saturday, January 9th, 12 pm - 7:30 pm, $200. Tickets and more info here.
    • Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy Class, One or Two Headed with Divya Anantharaman Sunday, January 10th, 12 pm - 6 pm, $120. Tickets and more info here.
       
    • Fancy Rat Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman Saturday, February 27th, 12 pm - 6 pm, $200. Tickets and more info here.
    • European Starling Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman Sunday, February 28th, 12 pm - 7 pm, $275. Tickets and more info here.