Gowanus is getting a Morbid Anatomy Museum in spring 2014
Joanna Ebenstein’s Morbid Anatomy Library is becoming a proper museum, thanks to support from the Brooklyn Arts Council
Fri Dec 13 2013
Photograph: Shannon Taggart
Even as national outlets like Whole Foods move into Gowanus, some of the neighborhood's quirkier institutions are getting bigger and better than ever—like Joanna Ebenstein's Morbid Anatomy Library. The eclectic institution opened in 2009, showcasing taxidermied animals, medical artifacts and creepy curios from a studio on Union Street; now, it's received backing from the Brooklyn Arts Council, private investors and online donors to grow into a full-blown, full-time museum.
Next spring, the Morbid Anatomy Museum will open in a 4,200-square-foot space inside a converted three-story nightclub on Third Avenue near 7th Street. In addition to exhibiting oddities such as preserved reptiles, the project will have a café with macabre offerings like "mourning cookies." There will also be an educational component: a "Morbid Anatomy Residency" featuring artists and scholars, classes currently taught at the Library (hair art, the history of the devil et al.) and taxidermy courses.
As for the museum's first show? Ebenstein hopes spotlight Walter Potter, an English taxidermist who placed stuffed animals in whimsical Victorian tableaux. It's exactly what the corporatizing neighborhood needs.
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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)