Visitors to the Putnam Museum can get up close and personal with human bodies this spring.
Organized by Atlanta-based Premier Exhibitions Inc., the traveling exhibit "Bodies Revealed" is scheduled to run March 9 to July 14 at the museum. It features 12 actual human bodies in various poses along with 185 individual organs and specimens.
The 12 full-body specimens will be displayed in nine galleries, each focusing on a different system in the body.
The exhibit's website states the human specimens are preserved with a polymer of liquid silicone rubber. A small organ may need a week to prepare, and an entire body may take about a year before it is ready. The preservation can last decades.
Dr. Roy Glover, chief medical director for Bodies Revealed, said the bodies are obtained from medical schools who retain ownership. All of the specimens are adults who died of natural causes, he said.
"We are responsible for using them for educational purposes and they will be returned to the schools," said Dr. Glover. "We do it in as dignified and respectful way as we can. The process is a confidential one; ages and manner of death are not disclosed."
He said medical schools do not accept donations of bodies with contagious diseases, a frequent question of visitors to the exhibit.
Putnam President and CEO Kim Findlay said staff from Bodies Revealed will take several weeks to set up the exhibit which covers nearly 7,000 square feet. Medical professionals and medical students will be on hand during the exhibit she said, to answer questions.
"There's no disputing the actual truth of the human body," said Ms. Findlay. "It's very timely in terms of discussion of health policy and what part we all play in health costs."
More than 1.5 million school children have seen the exhibit, according to Dr. Glover. He said the exhibit is designed to make it comfortable and educational for all.
"As an anatomist, it's my passion to teach about the body. So many people know very little about it," said Dr. Glover. "There's so much abuse of it. We want people to be better caretakers of their bodies."
Today is Tuesday, April 15, the 105th day of 2014. There are 260 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: A large and splendid new safe has been hauled out to Young Brothers store in Camden to replace the old one, which recently was robbed. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The salary of Mayor Blaning was raised to $1,000 by the Rock Island City Council. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rock Island Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring one of the most intensive cleanup campaigns ever conducted. 1939 -- 75 years ago: According to Forecaster Truman Shipman, April weather has been six and one-half degrees below normal with an all-time low for any April 12 established when the mercury slipped down to 22 degrees. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island Board of Education discussed the planned addition to the high school until nearly midnight last night. 1989 -- 25 years ago: April 13, 53 of the top spellers from Rock Island, Mercer, and Henry counties spelling bees came together at Augustana College to compete in the Ninth Annual Regional Spelling Bee.