Thumbnail Exhibit Body Worlds Rx Wb


The world’s most popular touring exhibition comes to Peoria, Illinois for the first time.

In the Experience and Oberhelman Galleries

Admission is free for members of the Peoria Riverfront Museum. Illinois area high school and college students also receive free admission, made possible by a generous donation from CEFCU. Students will need to show a valid school ID at the time of admission.



Created by German physician and anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens, inventor of Plastination and Dr. Angelina Whalley curator of the trailblazing BODY WORLDS exhibitions, the exhibition features real human specimens preserved through Plastination, a technique that removes the fluids from the body and replaces them with plastics that harden. The specimens on display show impressive comparisons and contrasts between healthy bodies and organs from those stricken with disease. Particular emphasis is put on some of the most common ailments such as back pain, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases like arteriosclerosis and heart infarctions, dementia, and more. 

BODY WORLDS has broken attendance records for the last twenty years and has been seen by more than 50 million people worldwide. This is one exhibition you won’t want to miss.

Parents and educators, make sure you have all the tools you need to explain BODY WORLDS. Download our STUDENT GUIDE or FAMILY GUIDE today.



BODY WORLDS: The Original Exhibition, is the first exhibition of its kind to inform the visitor about anatomy, physiology and health by viewing real human bodies preserved through Plastination, the preservation process invented by Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977, while he was working as an anatomist at the University of Heidelberg. Since the beginning of the exhibition series in Japan in 1995, more than 50 million visitors in more than 140 cities in Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa and Oceana have seen the world's most successful traveling exhibition.

Highlights of BODY WORLDS Rx include:

More than 100 specimens. Visitors to BODY WORLDS RX will see one hundred real human specimens including iconic whole body plastinates like The Smoker. All specimens are preserved by the revolutionary process of Plastination, invented by Dr. Gunther von Hagens.

Health and Disease Revealed: Healthy organs are shown in direct comparison with diseased organs to reveal the physical impact of disease on the body systems and organs.

Understanding Brain Health: Diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's are explore through detailed specimens an exploratory video and more.

Interactive elements include the "Anatomical Mirror", where visitors will see how vital organs are positioned in their own body and the "Tobacco Body", a time-lapse of smoking's impact on the body.

And so much more . . .  


Frequently Asked Questions

Is the exhibition appropriate for children?

Fifty million people, including young children, have viewed the BODY WORLDS exhibitions around the world. Given the nature of the BODY WORLDS RX exhibits, it is up to parents, guardians or school staff to decide whether BODY WORLDS RX is appropriate for the children in their care. Be sure to check out the official BODY WORLDS RX Family Guide , designed to help families maximize their understanding of the exhibition.

What does BODY WORLDS RX show?

BODY WORLDS RX contains real human specimens, including whole-body plastinates as well as individual organs, organ configurations and translucent body slices. The spectacular plastinates in the exhibition take the visitor on an exciting journey of discovery under the skin. It provides a comprehensive insight into the anatomy and physiology of the human body. In addition to organ functions, common diseases are described in an easily understood manner by comparing healthy and affected organs. They show the long-term impact of diseases and addictions, such as tobacco or alcohol consumption, and demonstrate the mechanics of artificial knee and hip joints.

 Why is it important for the public to see these exhibitions?

The organizers of BODY WORLDS RX believe that when people understand more about how the body works and how it can break down, they are more likely to choose healthy and sustainable lifestyles. We also hope it will inspire visitors to learn more about the life sciences. Knowledge about what the human body looks like and how it functions is basic life science information that should be available to everyone. 

Why are the plastinates posed the way they are?

The poses of the plastinates have been carefully thought out and serve educational aims. Each plastinate is posed to illustrate different anatomical features. For instance, the athletic poses illustrate the use of muscle systems while playing sports. The poses are chosen to highlight specific anatomical features and allow the visitor to relate the plastinate to his or her own body.

Where did the specimens on display come from? Will we know who the plastinates are or how they died?

The BODY WORLDS exhibitions rely on the generosity of body donors; individuals who bequeathed that, upon their death, their bodies could be used for educational purposes in the exhibition. All the whole-body plastinates and the majority of the specimens are from these body donors; a few organs and specific specimens that show unusual conditions come from old anatomical collections and morphological institutes. As agreed upon by the body donors, their identities and causes of death are not disclosed. The exhibition focuses on the nature of our bodies, not on providing personal information.

Have the ethical questions concerning this exhibition been addressed?

Before the North American premiere of BODY WORLDS, a distinguished committee of theologians, ethicists, academics, and medical luminaries conducted an independent ethics review. The Ethics Review of the origins of bodies in BODY WORLDS – conducted by the California Science Center, Los Angeles – is available for download at

How long does it take to go through the exhibit?

We recommend that you set aside one to two hours to walk through the entire exhibition. You are free to spend as much or as little time in the exhibition as you’d like.

Can you take photographs or film in the exhibitions?

Photography and filming with small devices are allowed.



BODY WORLDS RX  is presented by the Gilmore Foundation.

BODY WORLDS RX is sponsored by Carle Health, Ruby K. Worner Charitable Trust, OSF Healthcare, PNC Foundation, Centre State International Trucking, Kelly Perkins and Dr. Jim Adams, and the Corporate Visionary Society Council. Additional support for student admissions provided by CEFCU. Body Worlds Rx is in partnership with the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria