Unlike many, I do not consider the specimen collection at the Mutter Museum to be grotesque, but rather to be wondrous, profound, and compelling. Every object I photograph at the museum is treated with the respect I afford live subjects—indeed; I consider what I do at the Mutter to be portraiture even though the focus of my intent may be the plaster cast of Siamese twins, a wax presentation of leprosy, or a teratological specimen. Each specimen has a story and comes with a living past – it is my objective to portray that “humanness” in the most empathetic way possible.
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© ARNE SVENSON