A Curious Invitation present London Month of the Dead
O MUMMY, WHERE ART THOU? - A Potted History of Preserving Human Remains
A Live, Illustrated Zoom Talk with Human Remains Conservator Cat Irving
Tuesday 12th October 2021 at 7:00 pm

The decay of our flesh after death is one of the inevitabilities of life, but throughout history people have tried to avoid this fate. From the mummification practices used to prepare the bodies of Egyptian Pharaohs for the afterlife, via taxidermy (six humans are know to have been stuffed), the embalming process used to preserve for posterity the bodies of revered political figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Vladimir Ilych Lenin, to the plastination technique developed by Gunther von Hagens which formed the basis of his touring Body Worlds show; from religious relics to specimens in jars, Cat Irving will give an overview of the history of the ways people have tried to fend off decomposition and preserve the human body.

As Human Remains Conservator at Surgeons’ Hall Museums, Cat Irving will approach this subject with an insight to the work that she does with dead bodies every day, and examine the view that this can give us of our history, and our humanity.

Tickets £5 including a 20% donation toward a host of restoration projects at Kensal Green Cemetery. Please click here to purchase.

Cat Irving
Cat Irving has been the Human Remains Conservator for Surgeons’ Hall since 2015 and has been caring for anatomical and pathological museum collections for nearly twenty years. After a degree in Anatomical Science she began removing brains and sewing up bodies at the Edinburgh City Mortuary. Following training in the care of wet tissue collections at the Royal College of Surgeons of England she worked with the preparations of William Hunter at the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University. Cat is a licensed anatomist, and gives regular talks on anatomy and medical history.

PLEASE NOTE - This talk will take place virtually via Zoom. Ticket sales will end at 5:00 pm BST on the day of the lecture. A link to the conference will be sent to the email used at checkout at 3:00 pm BST on the day of the event. Please email suzette@acuriousinvitation.com in the event your link fails to arrive. Please note this talk will be recorded and can be sent free of charge to ticket holders by request.

Image Credit - Specimens at Surgeons' Hall courtesy of Cat Irving.