Death in a Nutshell: Frances Glessner Lee and the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

Illustrated lecture with Bruce Goldfarb, executive assistant to the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland
Date: Thursday, February 27
Time: 8:00
Admission: $8

Presented by Morbid Anatomy

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death is an extraordinary collection of miniature dioramic death scenes, hand-crafted in the 1940s in obsessive detail by Frances Glessner Lee. They were — and still are — used to train police in the methods of forensic death investigation. Lee, a wealthy socialite with no formal education who in middle age was commissioned by the New Hampshire State Police, is considered the mother of modern, scientific death investigation; she is also said to be the inspiration for the character of Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote.

In tonight’s illustrated lecture, Bruce Goldfarb of the office of the chief medical examiner of Baltimore will tell the fascinating story of Frances Glessner Lee and her Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. Later, on Saturday, March 29th, join Morbid Anatomy for a special field trip to Baltimore featuring a tour of The Nutshells and the forensic facilities by Mr. Goldfarb. Visits to additional “Charm City” highlights will be organized with the help of our guide, rogue taxidermist and “angelic boyfriend” Robert Marbury.” Email morbidanatomylibrary [at] to be put on the list for more information as it becomes available.

Bruce Goldfarb, a former paramedic and a nursing school drop-out, is an award-winning journalist and author of eight medical reference books. He now serves as executive assistant to the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland.

Comments are closed.