Some people like to collect morbid pieces, some people collect trash, both some other people see as valuable. And both are saved in museums.
Joanna Ebestein is the owner of the Morbid Anatomy Library, that suffered a loss this year because of a fire, but it is back on its feet with the help from many people that also have an appreciation for the morbid. The museum is a collection of curiosities, books, artworks, photographs, ephemera, and artifacts relating to medical museums, anatomical art, collectors and collecting, cabinets of curiosity, the history of medicine, death and society, natural history, arcane media, and curiosity and curiosities broadly considered.
Joana wants people to reconnect with death, since she believe we have lost the connection, she goes as to say we hide it, in her words: “I’ve always been interested in death, and people have always called me morbid,” “But at a certain point, I began to think: Is it morbid to think about death, or is it weird not to?”
The 40-year-old blonde Ebenstein, who travels the world giving lessons and photographing arcane museums, founded The Morbid Anatomy Library in 2007, using as reference and inspiration The Mutter Museum, in Philadelphia and The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angels.
Nelson Molina also likes to collect, but not things related to the dead, he is a trash collector. For years a sanitation worker, Molina began collecting pictures and trinkets he found throughout his route everyday, so he could make his garage locker room corner a little more colorful. His colleagues started to contribute and his collection grew. Now Mr. Molina has almost a thousand pieces and he decided to carefully and playfully arrange it in a big open room cream-colored painted by himself.
The sanitation worker has lots of collaborators, just like Ebestein, that help him find the garbage gold, but only Mr. Molina decides which pieces are worthy of display. It is true that the Sanitation Department prohibits employees from taking things for their personal use, but since Mr. Molina is sharing his trash treasures with everyone, it is within the rules.
In different ways both Molina and Ebestein bring a reflection for our busy day to day life. The necessity to not overlook our connection to death and also not overlook the beauty in ordinary, thrown away things.