For Daniel Erenberg, it’s gas masks. For John Kozik, it’s old Ouija boards. These are just some of specialties of the 18 collectors that are profiled in the new book by Paul Gambino, Morbid Curiosities: Collections of the Uncommon and the Bizarre. The title is apt: these are collections of items that would make many people recoil.
However, for the collectors, whether they are drawn to taxidermy or early medical photography, the relics are as appealing as gemstones or priceless stamps. “I know the origin and pathology of all of my pieces,I know the story behind them” says collector Nicole Angemi about her collection of human and animal specimens, “I don’t just collect body parts; this is my career, my livelihood, and, of course, my passion.”
Many of the collections featured in Morbid Curiosities have not been previously made public. With detailed photographs and portraits, the book is a glimpse into whole worlds of strange and rare collections. Here is a selection of images from the book.