Discovery Grant: 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 developed a collaborative method and concept for an exhibition about the influenza pandemic in Philadelphia (1918-19), advancing the Museum's recent shift to a medical humanities interpretative approach. The discovery process informed 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 resulting interactive exhibition, supported by a 2018 Center Project grant, will commemorate 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.