Theatrical exhibition ‘The Power of Poison’ at Witte Museum

Read through an enchanted book and explore poison’s role in nature

SAN ANTONIO – A new exhibit called “The Power of Poison” is at the Witte Museum.

The theatrical exhibit will take guests through the mist and vines of Colombia’s Chocó Forest.

Visitors will be able to explore poison’s role in nature, legend and human health with interactive tools like an enchanted book.

The enchanted book resembles an ancient botanical volume and displays animations of well-known poisonous plant species, including belladonna and monkshood.

A family discovers the venomous Eyelash Pit Viper, which is named for the fringe of scales that appear to be “eyelashes,” in the Power of Poison Exhibition at the Witte Museum. (Witte Museum)

There’s also a life-sized scene of the Mad Hatter from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which tells the story behind the saying “mad as a hatter.”

“Visitors of all ages will enjoy the interactive exhibits while exploring how poison can both harm and heal in the exhibition’s immersive galleries: Poison in Nature, Texas Tales, Poison in Myth & Legend, Detecting Poison, Victims and Villians, and Poison for Good,” a press release states.

The saying “mad as a hatter” dates back to the 19th century when mercuric nitrate was used in the millinery industry to turn fur into felt. Hatters working in poorly ventilated factories breathed in toxic fumes, and prolonged exposure led to mercury poisoning with symptoms — such as trembling, memory loss, depression, irritability, and anxiety — that are still described as “mad hatter’s disease.” (Witte Museum)

“The Power of Poison” is an elaborate exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

It will be open to the public starting Saturday, May 21.

The Witte Museum is located at 3801 Broadway Street and free parking is available in the adjacent Brackenridge Park Parking Garage.

A new exhibit called “The Power of Poison” is at the Witte Museum.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.