Overview and Highlights

An Introduction

For the first time in Kansas City, BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life – a remarkable educational exhibition from physician and pioneering anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens – invites you to consider the form, function and beauty of the human body through all stages of life.

As part of the internationally-renowned BODY WORLDS teaching collection – seen by more than 40 million people across 4 continents – The Cycle of Life showcases the wonders of human development, demonstrates the complexity of our physical self and resilience and vulnerability of our bodies in distress, disease and good health. You will marvel at the life processes that are captured in the exhibition. You will leave with a new appreciation of the power we have to keep our bodies healthy throughout our life span.

All of the extraordinary real specimens are preserved through plastination, a remarkable scientific process invented by Dr. Gunther von Hagens.

All whole body plastinates and a majority of all the specimens in the exhibition have been donated through the Institute for Plastination’s body donation program. Some specimens showing unusual conditions and fetal development are from old anatomical collections.

Highlights of
BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life:

  • More than 100 specimens specially curated for this exhibition. Visitors to BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life will see individual organs and systems, as well as full-body plastinates in various poses including dancers, a baseball player, and more.

  • "Centennial Village”, a feature on the findings on geographic clusters around the world where the longest living people reside – from Okinawa, Japan and Ovodda in Sardinia to the Hunza region of Pakistan.

  • “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius”, a stunning look at conception and prenatal development. This area features a multimedia display on cell division and a remarkable collection of plastinated fetuses acquired from historical anatomical collections.

  • “The Artists’ Gaze”, an exploration of the sight and visions of artists Claude Monet and Edgar Degas, who suffered from cataracts and retinal eye disease.

  • And so much more to experience and apply to your own life.