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

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Arts

EXCLUSIVE: Backstage with Adam Jacobs at 'Aladdin' on…

Metro shadowed Adam Jacobs backstage at "Aladdin" on Broadway.

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

Movies

Review: Bickering family dramedy 'This is Where I…

A talented cast sits Shiva in the bickering family dramedy "This is Where I Leave You," although it's more sap than yuks.

NFL

J.J. Watt poses unique challenges to struggling Giants…

Watt, arguably the best defensive player in the league, is the leader of a surprising Texans (2-0) team that has already matched last season’s win total.

NFL

Eric Decker 'unlikely to play' against Bears: Source

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker's status for Monday night’s game against the Bears is in doubt after he missed practice again Wednesday.

NFL

Preston Parker, not Odell Beckham, will replace Jerrel…

Tom Coughlin noted the next man up will be unheralded veteran Preston Parker.

NFL

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…