Spit Spreads Death: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 in Philadelphia

The College of Physicians/Mütter Museum



Neuroscientists Dr. Greg Dunn and Dr. Brian Edwards use the original technique of microteching to map the human neurological system with landscapes and abstract scenes. Mütter Museum, Thomson Gallery, 2015. Photo by Evi Numen.


Broken Bodies, Suffering Spirits: Injury, Death, and Healing in Civil War Philadelphia, an exhibition documenting the human experience of war through four topics: hurting, healing, dying, and fighting, illustrated with original artifacts, texts, and human specimens from the American Civil War. Mütter Museum, Mütter Gallery, 2013. Photo by Evi Numen.


Photographer and physician Andrea Baldeck juxtaposes materials from the collections of the Historical Medical Library and Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia in the black and white photography series Bones, Books, & Bell Jars. Mütter Museum, Thomson Gallery, 2012. Photo by Evi Numen.

The Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia will develop a collaborative method and concept for an exhibition about the influenza pandemic in Philadelphia (1918-19), which will advance the Museum's recent shift to a medical humanities interpretative approach. The discovery process will inform the Museum's efforts to fully incorporate contemporary art within its historical framework by joining together an artist, an art curator, and a historical curator. The exhibition is planned for 2019, in commemoration of the centennial of the devastating medical event that plagued Philadelphia in the early 20th century, and will integrate science, history, art, and personal narratives while exploring contagion, fear of infection, compassion for fellow citizens, and the behavior of a population under extreme stress.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.