The Mütter Museum by Gretchen Worden

The Mütter Museum

Home to over 20,000 mind-boggling anatomic specimens, plaster casts, wax models, and paintings, the Mutter Museum, founded in 1858, is part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. This book features over 100 photographs by a select group of renowned photographers whose work appears in the award-winning Mutter Museum calendars. Highlights include a bust of an early-19th-century Parisian widow with a six-inch horn protruding from the forehead...

Details The Mütter Museum

TitleThe Mütter Museum
Release DateOct 7th, 2002
PublisherBlast Books
GenreNonfiction, Art, Photography, Science, History, Medical, Health, Medicine

Reviews The Mütter Museum

  • Mark Desrosiers
    Right, here's where things get artsy: Wegman's dog eating out of a pelvis, noir angles of Chang and Eng's plaster casts, etc. Some of these assemblages are pretty fun, but others are a load of wank. I mean, really, did you need to wrap that cylinder of "tanned human skin" (used to help "plan surgical incisions") around some tattooed fellow's head? And what's with the "Christmas Brain"? Red lid, yellowy brain, green brain solution? That's what pas...
  • Don
    Attempts at artfulness in this book distract from its value.
  • Matte Resist
    I had considered buying this book, because I couldn't seem to find it anywhere to take a look at it... but read some pretty terrible reviews of it. Then I was able to get it on an interlibrary loan. For the most part, I think the book does a good job of showcasing some of the pieces at the Mutter Museum (at least for someone who hasn't been there yet.) However, some of the attempts at artistry are just annoying. I didn't need to see the photograp...
  • Loren
    I discovered the Mutter Museum in the 1990s because of the lovely morbid calendars my local bookshop sold. The calendars featured amazing, thought-provoking photographs by Joel-Peter Witkin, Rosamond Purcell, and Arne Svenson, taken in the collection of the medical museum. Those incredible photos, in all their glory, are assembled in this book.Unfortunately, the calendar photos by William Wegman are included, too. The inclusion of the dogs mockin...
  • Laura
    In my never-ending morbid curiosity, I got this book just to scan the pictures. The conjoined twins are especially fascinating, as are the many wax models of various abnormalities. The book states that the collection used to be used as teaching tools for med students, but modern medicine has replaced much of what is there with sophisticated radiography. Still, it is fascinating to me how much they DID know back then. And how much we know today an...
  • Josh
    Some gorgeous photographs, some okay photographs, some done artistically and some done with attempts at artistry. Meh introduction, skimmed the appendix which didn't catch my attention (lots of history of the institution). Overall a nice look into the museums collection, and a good impetus to visit in person one day.
  • Grey
    The book begins with a short preface by the author, Gretchen Worden, introducing you to the museum and the book. This is followed by some history of Dr. Mutter and how the College of Physicians of Philadelphia acquired his collection and various other specimens. Following the writing comes over 150 pages containing photos of the museum's specimens. One complaint I have is that while most photos are beautiful and interesting, quite a few are taken...
  • Meghan Portillo
    Some photographs are very interesting, but space was wasted on several exhibits being shown more than once - sometimes more than twice; most of these repetitions aren't really worthy of more than one photograph.In order to fully appreciate the scanty captions (every picture has a caption but not much of one), more than cursory knowledge of medical terminology is required; otherwise, a medical dictionary would be helpful.At the risk of showing my ...
  • Davelowusa
    The Mutter Museum is one of the oddest places I've ever been. Housing the 19th century specimens (mostly medical curiosities) of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the museum seems straight out of the Addams Family. They've got shrunken heads, the Soap Lady, the plaster death cast of Chang and Eng (the Siamese Twins), a colon that stretched to nine feet in length, the thorax of John Wilkes Booth, and all sorts of misshapen skulls, skeleto...
  • Rainboe Sims-Jones
    This book is a pictoral journey through the exhibits and artifacts in the Mütter Museum. Highly artistic photographs by various photographers document all aspects of the human body from prosthetic limbs and maps of veins to malformed skeletons and afflicted fetuses. All photos are credited and labeled with the medium of the specimen photographed. When pertinent the medical condition of the specimen is discussed and sometimes the background infor...
  • Jim
    Fascinating photographs, this book has a lot of pictures of fetus skeletons which made me feel a little uncomfortable. The early surgical photos of amputees, and bullet wounds make you feel grateful to live in the 21st century.
  • Leilani
    I like the other Mutter Museum book better, but they are both worth checking out.
  • Sarah Stumphf
    I thought this would have more information about the pictures as far as explaining the ailments and such. Interesting to look at, but not too informative.
  • Beth Barnett
    Wish it had more pictures - the museum itself is cooler, but, still interesting.
  • Nicole Beck
    Nonfiction anecdotes about the strange and weird specimens in the Mutter Museum's collection. Plenty of pictures, and a insightful essay by Worden.
  • Kristina
    Very interesting book. I finally got to visit the Mutter Museum on my first trip to Philadelphia a few years ago. Loved it. It was creepy and weird and gross. Just my thing.
  • Mr. Shoemaker
    Very creepy photos. Responding to these images would be a good creative writing exercise. The truth is stranger than fiction.
  • Julie
    The Wegman pics sorta freaked me out! Even more than the others :)