The Mutter Museum as Philly’s go-to destination

James Cutler
Favorite Spot: Mutter Museum
Neighborhood: Logan Square
Address: 19 S 22nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

I am: A realtor doing my best to sell people on staying in Philly forever
Years in Philly: 23 (minus 4 years of college)
Current Home: Northern Liberties


My Love Note

I was born and raised in Philly and from a very young age I was aware that I would stay here for the rest of my life. I made the decision to leave the city for college because I knew that someday I would die here, and I might as well see how the other half lives before doing so. I was suffering through yet another boring freshman orientation picnic when a girl mentioned that her boyfriend was starting at UArts, and she would be visiting him in Philly soon. I immediately sprang into tour guide mode and starting planning an itinerary of things for them to do, eat and see. Cue blank stares from all around, especially when I mentioned the Mutter Museum. “COME ON GUYS YOU CAN SEE THE SKULL COLLECTION AND ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST COLONS AND THE SOAP LADY!”

Despite my initial awkwardness, I did eventually manage to make friends in college, and several of them have come to visit me in Philly. The Mutter Museum is always my go-to destination to show people what the city has to offer. Not only is there an abundance of things to learn about the treatment of diseases and medicinal abnormalities, the museum itself is a beauty to behold, with fabulously dated display cases. In an era where things are increasingly sanitized, I find the dust and the dim lighting refreshing. While much of the museum’s focus is on the medicinal aspects of abnormalities, I find some of the more amusing displays to be those that chronicle attitudes to ailments throughout history. One can find kitsch such as Siamese Twin trading cards and pieces of Presidential assassin’s brains proudly displayed. HOW AMERICAN IS THAT?

For the uninitiated, please take caution: you might lose your appetite. I make it a point to visit at least once a year and have yet to remember that I should eat lunch BEFORE I enter, rather than after.


(Photos from the Mutter Museum)


Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Center City 5 Comments

5 Responses to The Mutter Museum as Philly’s go-to destination

  1. Bryan

    Highly recommend you check out Philly’s own Ryan Teitman’s poem “The Cabinet of Things Swallowed” which remembers the Mutter Museum in a fond, if eerie, light.

    • Emma Fried-Cassorla

      Ahhh. Blast from the Cheltenham High School past. How are you guys doing?

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