Show Me Chicago's Guide to Body Worlds at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.


Body Worlds Explores “The Cycle of Life.” © Gunther von Hagens, Institute for Plastination, Heidelberg, Germany.

“Aging is not a sudden event, rather it is a gradual biological process. It begins at birth and progresses inexorably through life ending at death. “

Chicago, Friday, March 18, 2011.  Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life makes its U.S. debut starting today at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.   The exhibition explores the aging process from prenatal development and birth through maturation and growth looking at the changes, the peaks and finally the declines. 

The 14,000-square-foot exhibit by exhibition designer Dr. Angelina Whalley showcases over 200 real human specimens, including 20 full-body plastinates focusing on human development and demonstrating the complexity, resilience and vulnerability of the human body.  It does this through anatomical studies of the body in distress, disease and optimal health. The exhibition also features multimedia displays supplementing the human specimens.

Preview some of the amazing things that you will see in the Body Worlds exhibition from “smokers lung”  to a “stomach ulcer” in the slide show at the end of this post.

MSI 31weeks.jpg

Fetus at 31 to 32 weeks of development.

“A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” presents an in-depth study of conception and prenatal development featuring a multimedia display on cell division and a collection of plastinated embryos and fetuses.

“Centennial Village” takes a look at geographic clusters around the world where people live the longest drawing from those areas to show visitors to the exhibit ways that they may add years to their own lives.

“The Artists’ Gaze” uses the failing eyesight of artists Claude Monet and Edgar Degas to examine visual problems that often occur in the aging population.

All ages. The information and displays should be of interest to all humans.  Exhibits are child friendly but will have added significance for anyone interested in medicine and science. For families with children, the exhibition offers an opportunity to talk about health and vitality.

Cost for the exhibit includes general admission and each guest must choose their specified entry time. General admission/exhibit tickets are $27 for adults; $26 for seniors and $18 for children (3-11). City of Chicago residents receive a discount on general admission. Groups of 15 or more are eligible for a discount when they book in advance.  The last available entry time is 90 minutes before the exhibit closes. Please Note: Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an
adult.  For more information, find MSI online at or call 773 684 1414 or 800 GO-TO-MSI outside of the Chicago area.

The Museum will offer special Spring Break evening hours for BODY WORLDS from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, March 25 – April 23, 2011. At this time, only BODY WORLDS exhibit will be open. The cost for evening hour tickets is $17 for adults and seniors, and $13 for children (3-11).

The Museum will extend its hours until 5:30 p.m. for the summer from May 27 to Labor Day, Sept. 5, 2011.

WHEN: March 18, 2011 through September 5, 2011.

WHERE:  Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive.

Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS are the only public anatomical
exhibitions that stem from an established body donation program that
relies on donor consent. All of the specimens have been preserved
through plastination, a process that replaces the natural fluids in the
body with reactive plastics that are initially pliable, and then harden
after infusion. By hardening the plastic in the specimens, they may be
permanently preserved in life-like poses, which illustrate how our
bodies internally respond to everyday movements

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