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Rules for trip. No food, drinks, backpacks, cell phones, cameras or electronics of any kind allowed in museums. Do not use glass cases or walls as a hard writing surface. Stay in sight of your group leader If visiting the gift shops, your adult must be present

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Rules for trip

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Rules for trip

  • No food, drinks, backpacks, cell phones, cameras or electronics of any kind allowed in museums.

  • Do not use glass cases or walls as a hard writing surface.

  • Stay in sight of your group leader

  • If visiting the gift shops, your adult must be present

  • Bring $7-$10 for food to eat at food court


Gunther von Hagens


Early Life

  • German born Gunther Gerhard Liebchen

  • Was diagnosed as a hemophilia as a child so had frequent hospital stays and did not get to participate in many regular childhood activities.


1.

  • How do you think this early life experience influenced his career choices?


Education

  • Isolation from other children and long hospital stays aided in his fascination of anatomy.

  • As a young adult, entered college as a medical school. Noted as being an outstanding student with a unique personality.


Middle Years

  • While in college, began openly questioning communism and socialism through protests. In his attempt to escape Germany, he was captured and imprisoned for 2 years.

  • At age 30, married one of his former classmates and adopted her last name: von Hagens.


Inventions

  • While in his 30s, developed the process called plastination.

  • "I was looking at a collection of specimens embedded in plastic. It was the most advanced preservation technique then, where the specimens rested deep inside a transparent plastic block. I wondered why the plastic was poured and then cured around the specimens rather than pushed into the cells, which would stabilize the specimens from within and literally allow you to grasp it."


How Plastination works

  • Body embalmed in formalin (special mixture of formaldehyde).

  • All body fluids & fats removed through vacuum process.

  • These fluids/fats replaced with silicon rubber/polymer and epoxy

  • Body is posed

  • Body is cured with heat, light and gas mixture


Global influences

  • Started his company BIODUR Products that distributes the special polymers for plastination

  • Later began BODY WORLDS exhibits. Tours the world under several names; Body Works, Bodies Revealed, Amazing Human Bodies.

  • Employs over 250 workers to created his bodies.


2.

  • Is this art? Is this science? Explain your answer.


3.

  • Do you think von Hagens has found much controversy in his exhibits?


4.

  • What are some of the controversial issues some viewers have protested against?


5.

  • Performed a public autopsy in London for an audience of 100s despite threats of being arrested.

  • Do you agree with this? Explain.


6.

  • How do you think von Hagens justifies what he does?


7.

  • Where do you think these bodies come from?


8.

  • Would you consider donating your body to science?


9.

  • What is your personal opinion on the ethics and morality of von Hagens’ work?


10.

  • Are there any aspects of his work that you firmly disapprove of? List & explain.


Art UK Art Museum


UK Art Museum Robert C. May


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