This weekend, the Pathology Museum at St. Bart’s Hospital, London hosted a very different kind of temporary exhibition; Eat Your Heart Out. Cakes and museums. Two of my favourite things! Well, three if you count my museum buddy, Imogen. At this point I was tempted to insert a joke about the quality of food in museums (or hospitals…both would be appropriate here, I guess) but I thought better of it.
The cakes on display were inspired by the glorious and gory-ous setting -which is surprisingly similar to the Hunterian Museum– as you can imagine, they weren’t the prettiest of specimens…
Stunning as they are, the cakes weren’t to everyone’s taste @ali_lou_89 said “it had the potential to be fantastic but didn’t quite cut the mustard.” They were also overshadowed by the actual gruesomn-ness that is the museum’s collection.
The Museum itself was purpose-built in 1879 and is home to over 5,000 medical oddities. Like these:
Apart from the cakes, there was another exhibition going on. Much more low key than its calorific counterpart.
Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them.
Ok, so it isn’t going to win any prizes for catchiest title BUT the exhibition was one of the better ones I’ve seen recently. It wasn’t entirely unlike this…
With things like this, it isn’t the objects that are the stars but rather the stories. This particular one was my favourite:
“A six inch electric torch containing neither bulb nor battery. Removed from the rectum of an eccentric and uncouth looking man, aged 68, who stated that he had been assaulted by two drunken Irishmen who had pushed some object into his rectum. On further questioning this story was considered to be improbable.”
Let’s savour that last line again “considered to be improbable.”
(Oh and on the way out there was a Roman sarcophagus. Naturally)