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Body As a Work of Art

More Than Skin Deep


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step into someone else's body? Or what a genetic condition looks like up close? What about how society and social media influence body image and mental health?


Body as a Work of Art: More than Skin Deep is an interactive multimedia exploration of how society imposes external concepts of beauty. Visitors are challenged to redefine physical beauty from an intrinsic and diverse perspective. Social media and its impact on mental health are explored, as well as the hidden beauty of the scarring, diseases, and genetic conditions that affect millions. Visitors also get a glimpse into the history and future of medical advancements and the molecular marvels of the human body.


Body as a Work of Art empowers individuals to acknowledge the beauty of the human body - and their own body. Ultimately, each person walks away with a fresh perspective, free of society’s preconceived notions of beauty.

Exhibit highlights:


BODYSUITS by Sarah Sitkin

Sarah Sitkin is a multidisciplinary artist from Los Angeles, whose latest work, ‘Bodysuits’  is a collection of hyper realistic human skins made into wearable garments. Each Bodysuit is a work of art as well as a functional tool for mediation on identity, empathy and locating the Self. All the bodysuits are created meticulously by a team of highly skilled artists, from direct silicone molds of real bodies. Every suit is complete with fine details such as freckles, moles and hairs as well as a fully lined interior with varying fabrics to give each Bodysuit its unique look and wearing experience. The result is an experience of literally stepping into someone else’s skin. 

Starting on Monday, August 20th, a limited number of fitting sessions will be offered to try on a bodysuit. Please note that the bodysuits differ in size, and weight, and some limitations do apply. To reserve a fitting, please click here


Clothing requirements for trying on a bodysuit:

1. Choose close-fitting garments that cover the torso (including genitals).

2. Leotards, unitards, leggings and/or yoga pants/shorts are okay.

3. Black color is preferable, but fabrics that have matching skin tones also work well.

4. Fabrics must have no buttons, pins or protruding elements.

5. Please be prepared to remove all jewelry before entering the fitting room.

6. Please refer to the minimum coverage requirements image below. Remember that the more of your actual skin is exposed, the better the bodysuit will look and fit!










Hidden Beauty by Norman Barker

Even the deadliest diseases can possess an unexpected splendor under the microscope. Together with Dr. Lacobuzio-Donahue, photographer Norman Barker created Hidden Beauty, an exhibition that delves into the artistic side of medical science. Discover the beauty of diseased cells while unveiling stories of struggle and triumph.


Beautiful Affliction by Cherie Acosta

Beautiful Affliction is a collection of dresses created by Cherie Acosta, the fabric and design of which are inspired by Norman Barker’s Hidden Beauty. In addition to displaying the dresses, The Health Museum will showcase an associated interpretive dance performance, choreographed by Travis Prokop. A video of the piece will be available for viewing in the McGovern Theater, free with price of admission.



POSITIVE EXPOSURE is a photographic portrait exhibition of individuals with genetic conditions. Rick Guidotti, an award-winning photographer, has spent the past twenty years collaborating internationally with organizations, advocacy groups and communities to promote a more inclusive and compassionate world where all differences are understood and celebrated.


Scar Stories by Cody Duty

Together with the TMC Pulse staff, award-winning photojournalist Cody Duty shares the harrowing and inspiring survival stories of six Texas Medical Center patients on an interactive digital kiosk. Scar Stories is a powerful collection of portraits that challenges us to broaden our narrow cultural view of beauty as perfection. Duty captures the beauty of the scars left on his subjects in a collection of striking black and white photographs. Each scar tells a very different story, but one common theme unites them: survival.


The Ribosome Machine

The Ribosome Machine is a traveling exhibit created by scientists at Los Alamos National Lab for the Bradbury Science Museum. This walk-through exhibit includes images of actual ribosomes as well as digital monitors that educate visitors on the importance of ribosomes, their structure and function, and their new applications to medical advancements. We invite you to walk through a ribosome and discover the hidden beauty of our molecular machinery.


Social Media Lab

Dive into the world of social media and selfies with the Social Media Lab, or SML. The SML challenges our perspective of social media and its influence on our daily lives. It explores the pros and cons of social media use, helpful tips and best practices for all ages, media usage statistics, and the fascinating history of social media. Opportunities for selfies abound, and visitors are encouraged to make a pledge about their own social media use and behavior on our Pledge Wall and start a positive community health movement.


The TMC Experience

The TMC Experience explores the past and present of medical innovations at the Texas Medical Center. It includes an interactive timeline howcasing historic accomplishments and groundbreaking individuals in the TMC community as well as artifacts from the John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center. Visitors can see tools used in the past to achieve beauty side-by-side with devices in use today. Users can also explore current medical advancements at TMC with one of four virtual reality experiences.


Reflections by Carole Feuerman

Feuerman, a pioneer of hyperrealism, has expanded her artistic approach in her new sculpture, Reflections. Much like Feuerman’s figurative sculptures, Reflections allows the viewer to focus on health and inner beauty via interaction with the artwork. Clad in polished stainless steel, the canopy-like structure reflects the individual's image with his/her surroundings, providing a new lens to experience one’s self.


Sidebar Boxes

The museum will be closed for a featured event on Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 from 9am-2pm for the Annual United Way Reading Rally and will return to regular hours at 3pm.

  • Monday - Saturday 9AM-5PM
  • Thursday 9AM-7PM
  • Sunday 12PM-5PM

Closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

Free Family Thursday 2 PM - 7 PM

DeBakey Cell Lab Hours

  • Members, FREE
  • Non-members, $10
  • Children 3-12 $8
  • Seniors 65+ $8
  • Children 2 & under Free

DeBakey  Cell Lab

  • Members $3
  • Non-members $5

What people are saying

Museum camps enabled my grandchild to learn many facts about the brain and have a hands-on experience. She also made new friends. A good way to start summer vacation.

D. Henson

My son learned about DNA, bodily functions and fingerprints. These are all items than he has not fully learned in school.


My 8-year old son a positive experience, during a recent Health Museum visit. It was fun and he walked away with a curiosity about the human body and interest to learn more information.


Other Exhibits


Currently featured film: Sonic Magic: The Wonder and Science of Sound


DeBakey Cell Lab

You don’t need to be a scientist to enter, but you’ll feel like one when you leave! Gear up with a lab coat, gloves and goggles and travel through experiment stations in both English and Spanish.


Take a larger-than-life walking tour through the human body and learn more about how your major organs work in this permanent exhibit.