We Who Are Not As Others

Presented by Professor Thompson S. Gunn

A conversation with Professor Thompson S. Gunn, from FreakShow Deluxe, regarding natural born Human Anomalies, as well as what some might consider medical aberrations, who became much more prominent in society and created interest throughout the Victorian era, and America’s Civil War & “Wild West” eras. As medicines & related procedures improved, so did the survival rates of Natural Borns and recovery from maiming in accidents and war.

Interest in science by the general populace also increased a fascination with the “Other.” A proliferation of both traveling & static exhibitions (freak show), in addition to the ease in creating & distributing promotional materials (photos, cards, books), expanded on that interest – leading many to create their own “Cabinet of Curiosities,” or Wunderkammer – the precursor to the modern museum.

While things have changed significantly in regards to freak shows and the like, it is well worth the understanding of this historical context in order to better understand the whys & wherefores of this art form, and provide the background of this art form in order to frame a modern version of one’s own Cabinet or Wonder Room.