The poetics of hidden, untouched and curious collections from around the world are explored in a photographic collection, "The Secret Museum Exhibition." In the days before MRIs, or even x-rays, "medical museums functioned as a sort of 3-D visual library intended to teach students about the human body in its normal or ‘anatomical’ state and in its abnormal, or 'pathological' state," Ebenstein says. This spectacular display of comparative anatomy circa 1898 features a life-size human écorché -- a figure showing the muscles of the body without skin -- leading a grand skeletal evolutionary parade. The display, which remains virtually untouched since the 19th century, can be seen at the Galeries de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie Comparée at the Muséum national d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris.
Photos © Joanna Ebenstein