Our favorite quirky library dedicated to the arcane, the bizarre and the morbid is outgrowing its space in Gowanus and hoping to expand. The Morbid Anatomy Library may be known for its collection of antique medical models and pickled baby animals in jars, but it has the potential to be much more.
The library’s organizers want to expand it into a full-fledged museum, complete with a café, gift shop, rotating exhibition space and residencies for artists and scholars from all over the world who will come here to study obscure topics. The library’s blog explains, “The Morbid Anatomy Museum will be full-fledged non-profit institutions dedicated to the arcane, the uncanny, and that which falls between the cracks of discussion and display. It will take as its inspiration 19th century anatomical museums, eccentric private collections, dime museums and the studies of gentleman collectors.”
The founders liken the project to the Charles Willson Peale Museum in Philadelphia, which was once full of botanical, biological and archeological specimens, and the Wellcome Collection in London, which declares itself to be the “free destination for the incurably curious.” We would add the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, Los Angeles, which displays antique astronomical tools, micro-miniature sculptures and portraits of Soviet space dogs.
They are seeking founding members (minimum donation of $1,000) and welcome contributions at any level. The Morbid Anatomy Library is also hosting a holiday fair on December 15th, where you can find off-the-beaten path gifts like taxidermied animals, obscure books and artful bones.
Also check out our list of the Top 5 Quirky Museums & Libraries in New York City. Get in touch with the author @lauraitzkowitz.