The Art of Darkness

Sponsor a Skull

August 14th, 2012 by Cobwebs

The Mütter Museum in Philadelphia boasts a fascinating assemblage of anatomical oddities, and one of their most famous features is the Hyrtl Skull Collection. The collection was acquired in 1874, and after a century and a half they’re looking a bit tatty. To remedy this, the museum has launched the Save Our Skulls campaign.

Be among the first to choose one of the 139 Hyrtl Skulls to “adopt.” Save a 150+ year old skull & have your name in the Mütter Museum!

You can help conserve and preserve a skull by becoming a sponsor for an annual subscription fee of $200. Your contribution will help offset initial costs associated with the cleaning, repair, and remounting of your chosen skull. Additionally, your subscription will be acknowledged as part of the skull mount in the permanent Hyrtl Skull Exhibit in the Mütter Museum. The subscription period for this initiative will end December 31, 2013

This is sort of like those promotions where you can sposor a zoo animal, only, y’know…bonier.

The museum has a photos of the skulls available for “adoption,” along with their names, ages, and cause of death (Hyrtl apparently took careful notes). The list is at turns fascinating (like the Russian guy who died of the self-castration required to join the Scopzi sect) and heartbreaking (like the 13-year-old suicide who “hanged himself because of a discovered theft”).

There’s also a video which discusses the program in more detail:

(Incidentally, did you know the museum had its own YouTube channel? Time suck ahoy!)

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