Speak of the devil: Morbid Anatomy Museum has a satanic anniversary

The Brooklyn Paper
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It has been one hell of a year.

The Morbid Anatomy Museum celebrates its one-year anniversary on July 18 with a devil-themed bacchanalia. The idea came from a current exhibit about stage magic that is filled with devil imagery, said the museum’s creative director, and the event will celebrate the fallen angel’s colorful history.

“What we’re interested in are the devil’s more complicated aspects,” said Joanna Ebenstein. “The devil is the bringer of knowledge — Lucifer got thrown out of heaven because he challenged the idea of God.”

Ebenstein hopes to combine education and revelry so partygoers walk away with a newfound appreciation for the dark arts and their master.

“It sounds glib, but I really believe some things are better done in party form,” said Ebenstein.

The party will cap an all-day festival of “greatest hits” from the museum’s premiere year of deathly talks and demonstrations. The venue has been the borough’s one-stop shop for taboo topics since occupying its pitch-black building near the putrid fumes of the toxic Gowanus Canal.

“I just can’t imagine it anywhere else,” said Ebenstein. “The neighborhood still has a slightly scruffy, artisanal feel. So much in the New York art world is so white-walled. There’s something about Gowanus that is experiment­al.”

The masquerade will also have musical interludes to lighten the dark theme, including Sunset Park country-punk duo Milf and Dilf (pictured).

“We’re a goofy alternative to a serious art world,” said Gerry “Dilf” Newland, whose organ-playing accompanies the washboard-strumming of his partner, Sharissa “Milf” Reichert. “We’re lowering the bar, lowering expectations, and we’re just gonna have fun.”

The pair are thrilled to be a part of the delightfully creepy spectacle, and Reichert will dress to match the theme.

“We’re gonna get all satanic,” she said.

Festival of Arcane Knowledge and Devil’s Masquerade at the Morbid Anatomy Museum (424A Third Ave. between Sixth and Seventh streets, July 18 from 11 am–7:30 pm for the Festival. $20. Devil’s Masquerade starts at 8 pm. $30 ($45 for both).

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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