The Original “Body Worlds” Coming To The HMNS
In 2006, more than half a million people visited the Houston Museum of Natural Science to see Gunther von Hagens’ “Body Worlds 3.” Following this success, Gunther von Hagens’ “Body Worlds 2 & The Brain – Our Three Pound Gem: The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies” debuts at the MHNS Sept. 12 through Feb. 22, 2009. Exhibition tickets are available beginning Friday.
“The brain is an incredible marvel of engineering. I wanted people to recognize what is known about this amazing gem inside our heads, and be awed by its possibilities and capacities,” said von Hagens.
“We wanted to present this most complex organ in a way that was accessible to the general public, and in the most elegant way,” said von Hagens’ wife Angelina Whalley, a physician who planned the BODY WORLDS exhibitions that have been seen so far by more than 25 million people worldwide.
“Body Worlds 2 & The Brain – Our Three Pound Gem” features the latest neuroscience findings on brain development and function; brain disease and disorders; and brain performance and improvement. The exhibit also incorporates 200 real human body specimens, including more than 20 full-body specimens in life-like, dramatic poses; healthy and unhealthy organs; body parts and slices—all preserved through a process called Plastination.
“We are thrilled to present another opportunity for people to experience this amazing exhibition, learn more about one of our most important organs, and hopefully, be inspired to make positive lifestyle-changes and improve their health,” said Joel A. Bartsch, president of the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
During Plastination, all bodily fluids and soluble fats are replaced with reactive resins and elastomers such as silicon rubber and epoxy, through vacuum-forced impregnation. After gas, heat, or light curing, the specimens assume rigidity and permanence.
“The purpose of Plastination from its very inception was a scientific one, to educate medical students. But the interest that laypeople had in the plastinated specimens inspired me to think of creating public exhibitions, which was followed by the realization that I had to offer a heightened sense of aesthetics, to avoid shocking the public and to capture their imagination,” said von Hagens.
The whole-body plastinates in BODY WORLDS 2—people who in their lifetime donated their bodies for Plastination for the express purpose of educating future generations about health—allow viewers to see inside the complex and completely interconnected network of muscles, tendons and blood vessels that make up human bodies. To date, more than 8,500 people have agreed to donate their bodies to Body Worlds for Plastination and use in the exhibits.
Tickets for entrance into the exhibit between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. are $25 for adults; $21 for children (3-11), seniors (62+) and students with a valid college ID; $17 Museum members; $7.50 school groups; and $20 for groups of 20 or more. Special audio guides are also available at $5 for adults and $3 for children. For tickets, or more information, visit www.hmns.org or call 713-639-4629.