Philadelphia's Franklin Institute to exhibit Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds 2 & The Brain

Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds 2 & The Brain made its debut at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute on October 17, and will be one of many points of interest for visitors eager to explore the area's vast array of scientific treasures. The second-largest medical research and education center in the U.S., the Philadelphia region is home to many medical, anatomical and scientific sites--from the nation's first hospital and the well-heeled home of the "Father of American Surgery" to museums devoted to medical marvels and the history of pharmacy. Those who'd like to spend a night or two exploring the region's scientific wonders can plan their visit and book their stay at gophila.com.

The Body Eccentric:

  • Go beneath the anatomical surface at Body Worlds 2 & The Brain, the sequel to the wildly popular Body Worlds exhibition, on view at The Franklin Institute from October 17 through February 21. Presenting a collection of real human specimens plasticized to reveal the body's inner workings, the exhibit places a special emphasis on the least understood organ and the latest findings in neuroscience. Also worth seeing are permanent exhibits of anatomical interest--namely, the Giant Heart, replete with giant walk-through heart, a room-size EKG machine and Bloodmobile Video Theater; and Sports Challenge, a 5,500-square-foot stadium with interactive and virtual reality athletic games that illustrate the role of science in sports. 222 N. 20(th) Street, (215) 448-1200, fi.edu
  • With its vast and unusual collection of human medical marvels and mysteries (a plaster cast of conjoined twins Chang and Eng, the preserved body of the "Soap Lady" and some 2,000 objects removed from people's throats), the Mutter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia is one of Philly's most enduringly wonderful gems. On view this season, in addition to the permanent collection, is The Devouring Element, a special exhibition that focuses on the impact of lead on human health. 19 S. 22(nd) Street, (215) 563-3737, muttermuseum.org
  • Fashion meets function at The Shoe Museum, housed at Temple University's School of Podiatric Medicine, which displays shoes of historic significance from around the world, as well as those that belonged to famous people such as Joe Frazier, Ella Fitzgerald and Joan Rivers. The museum also features the collection of Dr. H. Augustus Wilson, a 19(th)-century Philadelphia orthopedist, on loan from the Mutter Museum. Museum tours are free, but visitors must call in advance to schedule. 8(th) & Race Streets, (215) 625-5243, podiatry.temple.edu/pages/about/shoe_museum/shoe_museum.html
  • Explore the science of dentistry through the centuries at The Dr. and Mrs. Edwin Weaver III Historical Dental Museum, where the development of the Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry is celebrated with a mock Victorian dental office, 18(th)-century dentures carved from bone, a bucket of teeth, photographs, student records and cases of dental instruments, including a set believed to have been made by Paul Revere. 3223 N. Broad Street, (215) 707-2800

Science & Local History:

  • The nation's first hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital was founded in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond to attend to the "sick-poor and insane of Philadelphia." Today, the teaching and research institution is recognized by US News and World Report as one of the nation's best in orthopedics, neurology and neurosurgery. The original Pine Building is open to the public and hospital tours, including views of original artworks by Benjamin West, Thomas Eakins and Thomas Sully, are available. 800 Spruce Street, (215) 829-3370, pennhealth.com/pahosp
  • A Philadelphia treasure and coveted masterpiece of 19(th)-century American art, The Gross Clinic is Thomas Eakins' exquisite ode to medicine, depicting Dr. Samuel D. Gross attending to a patient in the surgical amphitheater at Jefferson Medical College in 1875. The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts now jointly own the original, which is currently not on view, but a reproduction hangs at Thomas Jefferson University's Eakins Gallery. Jefferson Alumni Hall, 1020 Locust Street, jefferson.edu/eakins
  • Named for its most famous resident and the "Father of American Surgery," Dr. Philip Syng Physick, the Physick House is an 18(th)-century townhouse in Society Hill that epitomizes the Federal style of architecture and furnishings. Physick's medical accomplishments included caring for the sick during the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, pioneering the use of the stomach pump and cataract surgery and tending to celebrity patients like Dolly Madison, Benjamin Rush and Chief Justice John Marshall. 321 S. 4(th) Street, (215) 925-7866, philalandmarks.org/phys.aspx
  • Philadelphia is home to the nation's first college of pharmacy, and the Marvin Samson Center for the History of Pharmacy at the University of Sciences is a 1,000-square-foot museum that documents that singular history. Changing temporary exhibitions draw from a vast collection of more than 10,000 pharmaceutical and medical objects that date back more than 400 years. Visitors can examine mortars and pestles, apothecary jars, nursing equipment, teaching materials and other illuminating items. 600 S. 43(rd) Street, (215) 596-8721, usip.edu/museum
Source:

Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation

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