Body Worlds Vital: Anatomy and art fuse at Quincy Market

Body Worlds Vital in Boston. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO.
Body Worlds Vital in Boston. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO.

You’ll never look at your neighbor the same way.

A five-month anatomy exhibition has set up shop on the second floor of historic Quincy Market, celebrating the potential of the human body in motion.

Body Worlds Vital opened on Nov. 22, and will run through April. It is the first time the exhibition has been displayed in Boston. In 2006, Body Worlds 2, a different exhibit under the same company, was on display at the Museum of Science.

Visitors get an up-close look at more than 200 human organs and 15 whole-bodies that have been preserved through the process of plastination.

The number one question asked by transfixed visitors: “Is this real?” Whether it’s a human brain, a female vulva, or dissected intestines, the answer is yes – it’s real.

The exhibition focuses on the various systems of the body from the skeletal system, to the muscular system, respiratory, digestive, nervous, cardiovascular and reproductive systems.

The full body specimens – mostly male – are shown in dramatic poses, with some exhibiting facial expressions. Designers gave Bostonians a special shout out – one body holds a Red Sox bat and another a Bruins stick.

“We know that we need to present the specimens, organs, and plastinates in ways that would engage visitors,” said Dr. Angelina Whalley, director if the Institute for Plastination and creative and conceptual designer of Body Worlds. “When planning each exhibition my goal is to further our mission of health education, by ennobling the post-mortal body without sacrificing aesthetics. I try to present the body in a dramatic, memorable, beautiful way so that people can learn about anatomy, disease, and health.”

BOS_body_world_2_1211

Among the specimens: Two human lungs – a healthy one, and one charred black with lung cancer.

“Last week someone left their pack of cigarettes behind,” said Michael Lembo, a Body Worlds marketing representative. “But what’s great about the exhibit is that it doesn’t preach, it just gives you facts and lets you feel however you want to feel.”

According to Whalley, the exhibition has inspired throngs of visitors to take up healthier habits.

“In fact surveys have shown that 68 percent left the exhibition with valuable incentives for a healthier lifestyle. In addition, 48 percent of the visitors reported that they appreciated their body more after having seen the exhibition,” Whalley said.

On Monday, Cape Cod resident Tom Malloy neared the end of the exhibition, examining a male specimen which wore a floppy hat.

“This is amazing to me. I’ve always been fascinated by this machine that we call our body. We put food in it, and water, and it just keeps us alive.”

About 1,300 Americans are registered to donate their bodies to Body Worlds after death, including 14 from Massachusetts.

More information is available at bodyworldsboston.com.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Eric Garner death prompts NYPD retraining, pols demanding…

The New York City Police Department will revise training procedures for its officers following the death of Staten Island man Eric Garner after an arrest gone awry.

National

Parched Texas town turns to sewage water to…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - When the going got tough due one of with worst droughts in a century, the parched Texas city of Wichita…

International

NYPD: Robber makes elderly man drive to Queens…

A robber grabbed an elderly man's neck outside a Queens supermarket, stole his wallet and made him drive to ATMs for withdrawals last week, police said.

Local

Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street in Williamsburg.

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.