The phrase "body beautiful" takes on a whole new meaning with Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds: Pulse at the Times Square Discovery Center. Von Hagens is an anatomist and the inventor of Plastination—no, not a suburb of Hollywood, but (squeamish alert) a way of stopping decomposition of the body by replacing natural bodily fluids with reactive plastics. The plastics, initially pliable, harden after infusion. Bodies can then be permanently posed in life-like positions, allowing others to view the bodies in everyday movements.
The multimedia exhibition, developed specifically for its New York audience, looks at health, wellness, nutrition, exercise and the incredible ways in which the human body reacts to stimuli. The effects of 21st-century living, as well as the connections between mind and body, are also probed, as are issues of natural tempo and the optimal rhythms for healthy living. The exhibit examines the body's form and function, its potential and vulnerability, and the challenges it faces in today's world. It gives viewers an inside view of, well, them—a chance to see, as it were, their inner landscapes.
The specimens in the exhibition are all responsibly sourced—they stem from the Institute for Plastination's body donation program, which counts more than 13,000 registered donors, 1,000 of them Americans.
Body Worlds exhibitions have used this groundbreaking technique to showcase the human body to more than 36 million people around the world. The technique was perfected at the University of Heidelberg, and Body Worlds shows have been seen at more than 50 museums in North America, Europe and Asia; the first was in 1995 in Tokyo. This exhibition is making both its New York and world debut.
Good for kids?
The exhibition includes full-body plastinates with exposed genitals. It is recommended for school groups grades 5 and up and for children aged 8 and up when accompanied by parents or guardians.
Did you know?
The 60,000-square-foot Discovery Center is housed in the former New York Times Building; it now hosts limited-edition blockbusters from around the world.
Although the exhibit focuses on humans, it also has a few animal specimens on display.
Body Worlds Hours and Location Information