Animal Inside Out, first of two new Body Worlds exhibits, opens in Salt Lake

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On Saturday, May 10, The Leonardo—Salt Lake’s contemporary museum of culture and science—debuted its newest exhibit, Animal Inside Out, one of the latest shows from the producers of the groundbreaking Body Worlds anatomical exhibitions.

Using the plastination process developed by Dr. Gunther von Hagens, Animal Inside Out is an “anatomical safari” showcasing the actual muscles, circulatory systems, skeletons and everything else under the skin of about 100 animal specimens on display. From reindeer, sheep, frogs, giraffes and a very large bull that is all muscle, the exhibit is an exploration of the animal kingdon just under its skin.

“We humans are most fascinated by the things we have never seen,” said Dr. Angelina Whalley, creative and conceptual designer for Body Worlds. “We wanted to create an exhibit…that moves people and lets people understand how fascinating nature is.”

This is only the first in back-to-back Body Worlds exhibits that The Leonardo will be hosting this year. The limited engagement of Animal Inside Out will run until the fall, when the second part of the double-header, The Cycle of Life, an exploration of the human body through different lifecycles, will open.

“We wanted to show, on one hand, the huge diversity Mother Nature has created, but at the same time, the commonalities. All creatures in the world, more or less have the same needs—including us,” said Whalley. “We need to reproduce, we need to somehow move around…it’s no wonder that we’re all so similar beneath our skins.”

Salt Lake is only the third U.S. city to host Animal Inside Out and the first city to ever host two of the Body Worlds productions back-to-back.

“This exhibition comes from a deep and profound respect for life in all its forms and also the interconnectedness that we share as humans with animals,” said Alexandra Hesse, The Leonardo’s executive director, who also spoke of Leonardo da Vinci—the museum’s namesake—and his fascination with anatomy, taking pride in hosting an exhibit that he would likely find fascinating.

The groundbreaking Body Worlds exhibition that first showcased Dr. Gunther von Hagens’ plastination process, was one of the first exhibits hosted by The Leonardo, which at the time was just a budding museum. Hosting that exhibit showed the local community what The Leonardo could be, and now hosting two of these premier exhibits back-to-back, the museum is continuing a tradition trust and cooperation.

Animal Inside Out is open Sunday to Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $19 for adults, $15 for children and $16.50 for students with a valid ID. Combo tickets to see both Body Worlds exhibitions are available at discounted prices, $30 for adults, $24 for children and $27 for students. More information is available at The Leonardo’s website.


Look below at our gallery from the exhibit. Photography by Nicola Pritchett

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