• Karen Seiger

Enter the Morbid Anatomy Museum Flea Market If You Dare

Antique medical instruments from Ryan Matthew Cohn

Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn

Have you been to the Morbid Anatomy Museum? If you are even remotely curious, you need to go. It’s an amazing place.

The museum allows us to “explore the intersections of death, beauty, and that which falls between the cracks.” Within its beautiful new 4,200 square foot location, the museum hosts truly unique exhibits and an extensive schedule of remarkable events. They also have a bookstore and café that should not be missed.

I had been meaning to go there for quite a while. The museum has hosted a Morbid Anatomy Holiday Market for several years. It has been on my Holiday Markets List, but I have never been able to attend. This summer, though, they hosted their first summertime Morbid Anatomy Flea Market. I was not going to miss it. Read to the end for more information about the next exciting event in October.

The market took place in their downstairs space, where a dozen or so vendors set up their tables. There was a great energy there, and a distinct sense that we were somehow kindred spirits for being at such an unusual event. The market attracted people with a range of interests, from taxidermy and vintage carnival and side show objects from the Invisible Gallery, to Goth fashion and bones.

Bighorn Sheep Skull from Amber Maykut Hoardaculture

There were ceramic skull vessels by END Elizabeth New Design; miniature death mask jewelry by Post Moss Mortem, preserved specimens by artist and designer Mark Splatter, taxidermy squirrels by Amber Maykut Hoardaculture, among many other intriguing objects.

The Morbid Anatomy Flea Market is the brainchild of Laetitia Barbier, Head Librarian and Event Coordinator for the museum. Originally from Paris, she loves shopping at flea markets, where you never know if you’ll come home “with 10 dresses or nothing.” She especially adored visiting the indoor Antiques Garage, where vendors presented their personal sense of aesthetics. Her work at the museum afforded her the opportunity to create her own flea market that is darkly beautiful, potentially shocking and pleasantly cozy.

“I wanted to create a place that is playful. Antiques dealers with great stories. Artists making things,” she said. “These people have the courage to live off of their creativity, and we need to support them and keep them in New York City to keep it cool, edgy, underground and arty.”

The Invisible Gallery

For me, the museum and the flea market offer a connection to our physicality and mortality that is almost too difficult to confront. However, the objects there are presented to us carefully, creatively and artfully, making them not only intriguing, but oddly comforting as well. (If the two previous sentences sounded clumsily philosophical, you are absolutely correct, and I invite you to meet me at the next market and help me express it better.)

And now for some exciting news! On Sunday, October 12, the museum is hosting their first Halloween/Day of the Dead Flea Market. Some new vendors will be there with chocolates and Mexican Day of the Dead figures and decorations, including skulls sculpted from sugar and chocolate. Feel free to dress for the occasion.

Visit the Morbid Anatomy Museum online to plan your visit. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

~Karen Seiger, Markets of New York City

Antique medicine bottles from Ryan Matthew Cohn Oddities

Miniature Death Mask Necklace, handmade by Post Moss Mortem

This incredible piece is called Gaz Mask, based on the pattern for an actual WWI gas mask, handmade by Wren Britton of Purevile

Taxidermy Squirrel by Amber Maykut Hoardiculture

Human Vertebrae from the collection of Ryan Matthew Cohn Oddities

Miniature Bluff on a Horse Bone by Nicole Antebi

Wasp nest and gemstone diorama by Elizabeth Ann Seymour at the Morbid Anatomy Museum

Ceramic Skulls made by END Elizabeth New Design

Wet specimen sea horses in decorative jars by Mark Splatter

The Last Menagerei: These plates commemorate extinct animals – by Nicole Antebi

Porcelain Lady from the Invisible Gallery

This is known as a Wax Moulage showing Secondary Syphilis of the Face, handmade by Nicole Antebi

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© 2020 by Karen Seiger

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