Mutter Museum declares 2022 the ‘Year of Dracula’

Mutter Museum
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In honor of the 125th anniversary of Bram Stoker’s legendary horror tale, the Mutter Museum has declared 2022 the “Year of Dracula.”

“The book ‘Dracula’ launched an undying interest in vampires that’s still with us today,” said Jacqui Bowman, Director of the Center for Education and Acting Co-Director of the Mutter Museum. “We’re celebrating its role in pop culture, but going deeper with an exploration of what it means to be dead, the role of tuberculosis in vampire lore, and vampires in historic literature.”

Philadelphia’s museum of fascinating medical history will celebrate with a year-long lineup of events and educational offerings.

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The Dracula Case Exhibit, which opens Oct. 6, gives visitors a chance to discover how people in the Victorian era would have identified a body as more than a corpse—as a vampire. Inside this exhibition, the Mutter explores how folklore, embalming and funerary practices, and the misunderstanding of diseases like tuberculosis, led to post-mortem identifications of ordinary citizens as vampires in the 19th century.

The museum will also host a historical lecture — Dracula and Physiognomy: The Science of Face Reading — on Oct. 12. Mutter educator Kevin Impellizeri will deliver a talk on physiognomy (“reading” a person’s face), the pseudo-science behind it, the role it played in “Dracula,” and the surprising ways that it still influences popular culture today. This event will be held virtually on Zoom.

The festivities continue with a screening of “Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages,” complete with a live score from Not-So-Silent Cinema on Oct. 16.  This 1922 Swedish horror-documentary masterpiece explores witchcraft, demonology, Satanism, and the persecution of women in the Middle Ages.

And on Oct. 28, visitors can experience a Dracula pop-up exhibit, a vampire-themed specialty cocktail, and surprises during the annual Mischief at the Mutter event.

There are plenty more events throughout the year-long celebration, including a blood drive, literary seminars, and additional film screenings.

For information and a complete list of events, visit muttermuseum.org

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