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RIP: Gowanus’s beloved Morbid Anatomy Museum abruptly closes

The living dead: The Morbid Anatomy Musem in happier times.
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They’ve been talking about death for years, and now they’ve finally gone through with it.

Gowanus’s beloved life-size cabinet of curiosities the Morbid Anatomy Museum abruptly closed over the weekend after more than two years of educating Brooklynites about Sicilian sex ghosts and how to make dioramas of bugs posed as humans, according to its website.

“Thanks to everyone for two and a half wonderful years, but the Morbid Anatomy Museum is now closed,” the proprietors of the macabre Third Avenue institution wrote on their blog.

The shutter came with little warning, although museum founder Joanna Ebenstein launched a crowdfunding campaign earlier this month saying they needed to raise $75,000 in a few months or faced the “very real prospect that the museum will close.”

The museum had received just $8,010 as of Monday morning.

The gallery began as an exhibit of taxidermy, old medical books, and postmortem photographs at the also-deceased local weirdo gallery Proteus Gowanus, and moved to its own two-story digs at Seventh Street in 2014, where it hosted bizarre nightly events including lectures on spontaneous human combustion, mouse taxidermy classes, and a popular annual Krampus party celebrating Saint Nicholas’s devilish companion who kidnaps and whips naughty children.

The museum held its last Krampus party on Friday.

Stunned fans mourned the venue’s demise when news of the closure broke on Monday morning — even those who are usually into death.

“I think I was in shock and I cried a little bit just thinking about it, it’s pretty heartbreaking just because that place has been my home for the last two years,” said “goth scholar” Andi Harriman, who gave lectures about the subculture at the gallery and once disc jockeyed a party there with nothing but songs by the Cure.

The museum was a one-of-a-kind place for people who find beauty in the darker side of life to meet and share their passion, she said.

“It brought us all together and we learned from each other and grew,” said Harriman. “It was very special.”

But appropriately, there is some hope the museum will rise from the dead in one form or another, according to one friend of the venue.

“This is not the end of Morbid Anatomy, just a pause,” wrote Science Channel show “Oddities” host and House of Wax bar curator Ryan Matthew Cohn in a cryptic Facebook post. “There will be a rebirth in the near future. So all we can do for now is stay tuned.”

Ebenstein did not return requests for comment by press time.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

Updated 4:59 pm, December 19, 2016: Updated with more comments from Harriman.
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Reasonable discourse

Gowanusaurus Rex says:
The $10 admission always seemed a lot to me so I went for free during Gowanus Open Studios one year and confirmed that assumption. It's an interesting place with neat stuff but not ten bucks of entertainment.
Dec. 20, 2016, 6:38 am
humphrey wilder from gowanus says:
true dat, die museum die!
Dec. 20, 2016, 11:56 am
Morris from Mill Basin says:
Can't we have a museum about something more pleasant?
Dec. 20, 2016, 4:52 pm

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