Extraction of the Placenta. Credit: Collection Family Coolen, Antwerp / Museum Dr. Guislain, Gent, Belgium
Around 1900, a waxworks museum was established by fairground entrepreneur Señor Roca in the heart of Barcelona’s red-light district. The location was no accident, the collection targeted the local inhabitants with spectacular visual information about the contemporary ‘plagues’ with which they were all too well acquainted: tuberculosis, alcoholism and syphilis.
Known as ‘The Parade of Monsters’, it originally contained a mechanical wizard, a ‘house of murders’ and a section devoted to human oddities alongside embryological and anatomical models and jars of human parts.