"The Secret Museum" show closes June 6th in Brooklyn

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In case you can't make it to Haarlem or Florence or even Philadelphia to see anatomical figures and specimens in "person," take an hour or two to head to Atlantic Avenue this week to view some documentary-style photos in the exhbition, "The Secret Museum," an exhibition exploring the poetics of hidden, untouched and curious collections from around the world in photographs and artifacts, by Joanna Ebenstein, co-founder of Observatory and creator of Morbid Anatomy.

Photographer and blogger Ebenstein has traveled the Western world seeking and documenting untouched, hidden, and curious collections, from museum store-rooms to private collections, cabinets of curiosity to dusty natural history museums, obscure medical museums to hidden archives. The exhibition “The Secret Museum” will showcase a collection of photographs from Ebenstein’s explorations–including sites in The Netherlands, Italy, France, Austria, England and the United States–which document these spaces while at the same time investigating the psychology of collecting, the visual language of taxonomies, notions of “The Specimen” and the ordered archive, and the secret life of objects and collections, with an eye towards capturing the poetry, mystery and wonder of these liminal spaces.I have been traveling the world with my camera, in search of obscure medical museums, cabinets of curiosity, dusty natural history museums, privately-held cabinets, untouched collections, and idiosyncratic assemblages of all sorts, front-stage and back, public and private.

Her latest project utilizing this material is photo exhibition at Observatory gallery in Brooklyn, New York. The exhibition, entitled "The Secret Museum," will be on view until Sunday June 6th, and features photographs of public and private, front-stage and back-stage collections from The United States, England, France, Poland, The Netherlands, Italy, and more. You will find in this exhibition photographs of taxidermied animals and humans (!), a life-sized breathing wax doll from the 19th century, Anatomical Venuses and Slashed Beauties, a fetal skeleton tableau from the 17th Century, backstage views at a number of natural history museums, an overlooked cabinet of curiosity in Paris, the untouched Teylers Museum of Haarlem, and much, much more.

Also, if you are interested in a guided walk-through of the collection, come out for Atlantic Avenue Artwalk, which will be taking place over the weekend of June 5th and 6th. Ebenstein will be on hand all day at Observatory and its next-door-neighbor The Morbid Anatomy Library, and happy to guide any interested parties through the exhibition.

The Secret Museum
April 10 - June 6th
3-6p Thursday and Friday
12-6p Saturday and Sunday

The above taken from http://morbidanatomy.blogspot.com/2010/05/secret-museum-photography-exhi...

If you can't make it, check out her Flickr page for the show: http://www.flickr.com/photos/astropop/sets/72157623978258955/I don't think the pictures themselves are really all that transformative, except in a couple cases, but they are the next best thing to being able to study the items with one's own eyes.

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Lisa Kereszi