You've gotta have heart: Body Worlds extends its run to Aug. 15
Enter a room lit in a deep red glow and you immediately hear the rhythmic pounding of a massive heartbeat. With a combination of science, artistry and education—along with a dash of controversy—traveling marvel “Body Worlds & The Story of the Heart” pumps up visitors at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science through July 18.
Sounds simple. The new Body Worlds exhibit focuses on how the heart works, depicted by more than 200 human specimens, organs and translucent body slices. The fascination, intrigue and accompanying debate stem from the fact that the displays are real bodies, donated specifically for educational purposes. Dr. Gunther von Hagens’ patented preservation process, called “plastination,” drains the bodies of fluids and removes skin. The result enables visitors to have a rare chance to study actual bones, muscles, tendons, nerves, organs and blood vessels. Eyes and reproductive organs can be seen in many of the plastinates.
In 2006, the DMNS hosted “Body Worlds 2” to huge crowds, and this exhibit has proven to be another big draw in Denver (more than 100,000 visitors in the first month). The plastination concept is the same, but all the specimens in “Story of the Heart” are new. There's also a separate display of human embryos and fetuses that visitors may choose to enter or not. More than 29 million have visited Body Worlds’ exhibits around the world, including children, and the museum suggests this is best suited for youngsters in grades 5 and above. For a family guide, go to http://exhibitions.dmns.org/teachers-and-parents/for-families.aspx.
An exhibit representative shared some quotes from visitors at the current Denver exhibit:
“What a wonderful opportunity to see how we come together – from conception till death. The heart and mind are incredibly linked and what a wonderful use of the mind to present the heart (and body) so beautifully!"
A doctor wrote, “Truly a gift. I am honored to be in a career that allows me to help people when they are ill or their bodies are diseased. I see internal organs almost every day. I forget just how privileged I am. This exhibit serves to remind me of my place in ‘things’ (and) in ‘life.’ Technology is amazing, but the human body – truly a miracle.”
A local, self-described “stay-at-home mom” wrote: “Awesome exhibit and very educational for adults and kids alike. Amazing technology.”
Tickets are distributed according to specific entrance times. Due to the popularity of the exhibit, it’s recommended that visitors purchase them in advance. Audio guides are available for purchase online and onsite, and can enhance the overall experience. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to http://exhibitions.dmns.org/plan-your-visit/hours-and-admission.aspx.
HelloDenver tip: There are accompanying special events throughout the exhibit’s run that include lively panels and anatomy sketch nights. Go to http://exhibitions.dmns.org/plan-your-visit/events.aspx.
Posted on June 28, 2010 by Lisa Perry