|IN MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES
Severed Heads and the Perils of the High Seas
Sunday 16th October from 1:00 pm
Over the centuries human heads have decorated our churches, festooned our city walls and filled our museums; they have been props for artists and specimens for laboratory scientists, trophies for soldiers and items of barter. Today, as videos of decapitations circulate online and cryonicists promise that our heads may one day live on without our bodies, the severed head is as contentious and compelling as ever. From shrunken heads to trophies of war; from memento mori to Damien Hirst's With Dead Head; from grave-robbing phrenologists to enterprising scientists, MATT GREEN explores the bizarre, often gruesome and confounding history of the severed head.
Going to sea in the 18th century was a dangerous business. If you didn’t lose your way, get shipwrecked or die of scurvy, you risked death at the hands of foreign wildlife or angry indigenous peoples. The museum archive – that seemingly orderly and safe space – is rife with tales of gruesome, mysterious, and often rather ridiculous deaths. Join KATY BARRETT from the Royal Museums Greenwich to hear tales of murder, curses, cannibalism, madness, and even the eating of pet cats.