Galleries at Real Bodies


Confronted by a simple pinewood coffin and the first full body specimen, visitors are invited to explore their human anatomy like never before – the Galleries at REAL BODIES allow you to discover the important cultural and emotional significance of each body system while learning about anatomy and physiology in great detail.

Anatomist’s study

Inside an old-world room with cabinets of curiosity, visitors will learn about the various ways we have preserved human remains throughout time—from Ancient Egyptian anatomists to 19th century academics. It is due to the work of these scientists that we understand the most important structure in life: the skeletal system. From a separated skull to the bones of the foot, learn why our bones are so vital to life as we know it.


It is the first thing we do and (almost) the last thing we do while on the planet—take a breath. Here, amidst inspiring scenic installations, explore the respiratory system, see a striking example of smoker’s lungs, and discover the significance of the breath in religions around the world.


Essential to life, the digestive system converts the foods we eat into the fuel we need to survive and thrive. Not only does this gallery explore the ins and outs of how we break down foods and liquids into nutrients and energy, but it also features enlightening scenic installations related to our hunting and gathering past.


The rhythm of the heart is the drumbeat behind close to 100,000 miles of arteries, capillaries and veins that run the course of our bodies. This striking gallery sheds light on the circulatory system through glowing displays inside an otherwise darkened room.


Dancing, running, throwing, twisting, wiggling, swaying, stepping, jumping—the human muscular system is a complex machine! This gallery presents specimens in active poses, giving guests the chance to see up close what their body is doing when moving through space.


What are you thinking?” asks this gallery. Displays range from whole brains to opened spinal cords in order to demonstrate the connectedness of the nervous system.

Groups and Field Trips

What Becomes of Us

Cultures have developed elaborate rituals to honor those who have died. This gallery invites guests to reflect on where we will go, what we will leave behind, and what follows this life.


For humans, certain elements of biological attraction are believed to be wired from our time as primates. Symmetry of the face, a certain waist to hip ratio, and scent are powerful elements of attraction. In this gallery, guests will study the reproductive system while learning how the our need to procreate has transformed into commitment, relationships, and love.


In a quiet and respectful setting, visitors can witness the first stages of life through thoughtfully displayed embryonic and fetal specimens.


Visitors can see diseased organs and learn how the miracles of modern medicine are making our lives longer and our quality of life better.