Dr. Angelina Whalley

Designer, Creative Architect, Curator

Anatomy is her life's work, education is her objective, and scientific productions are the result: A passionate physician, Dr. Angelina Whalley has made it her mission to make people aware of health issues and of the fragile preciousness of life.

Born in Hanover, Germany, in 1960, Angelina Whalley's childhood dream was to become a surgeon in order to help the sick.  After graduating from high school, she began her medical studies at Freie Universität Berlin, finishing them at Heidelberg University in 1986. After completing her doctoral degree, she remained at the university as a scientist and, in a training course on anatomical preparation.  It was during this time that she met anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens, the course instructor. The two fell in love and decided to share not only their personal, but also their professional lives. Dr. Whalley accompanied Dr. von Hagens in the continued development of his invention, the technology of plastination. She became the managing director of the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg that they jointly founded in 1993.

In 1995, their work resulted in the creation of an unprecedented exhibition: BODY WORLDS –together Drs. Whalley and von Hagens brought the first public exhibition of human plastinates to the world.

While the BODY WORLDS exhibitions were initially dominated by medical and anatomical content, over time, Dr. Whalley curated the exhibitions to develop more sophisticated concepts.  As the designer and narrator of the productions she has incorporated topics to combine the study of human anatomy and other facets of modern day life.  Through her work the BODY WORLDS exhibitions have become multilayered, creating an emotional, philosophical and educational experience. She continues to develop the contents of the exhibition to incorporate new and current issues.  Dr. Whalley has authored four books based on the exhibitions that have sold more than one million copies.

Dr. Whalley designed the first ANIMAL INSIDE OUT exhibition in 2010, that since then has travelled many countries. In this new exhibition, she successfully created a symbiosis of anatomy, didactics, and presentation, aiming primarily at increasing awareness of the wonders of nature and of the great (and endangered) variety of animal species.

In 2015 the Menschen Museum, the world’s first museum dedicated to the human body opened in Berlin, Germany. The exhibition was specially curated by Dr. Angelina Whalley. She has incorporated a unique and memorable story though the exhibition, focusing on the facets of life.