Friday, June 27, 2008

"Die Kleyner Chirurgei," Walter Hermann Ryff, 1542

Selections from the newly digitized book Die Kleyner Chirurgie, by Walther Hermann Ryff, and published in 1542.

Ryff was, per the authority of French Wikipedia, a 16th C surgeon who wrote many books on such topics as physics, pharmacy, anatomy, obstetrics, teratology, and surgical techniques. Not uncommon for this time period, he was also an alchemist and astrologer.

You can persuse the whole book here on the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek website. See more illustrations from the book here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More from "Picturing the Museum"

A few more of my favorites from the wonderful web exhibition "Picturing the Museum: Education and Exhibition at The American Museum of Natural History." More on that exhibition in yesterday's post.

Monday, June 23, 2008

"Picturing the Museum: Education and Exhibition at The American Museum of Natural History" Online Exhibition!

The web exhibition "Picturing the Museum: Education and Exhibition at The American Museum of Natural History" has officially launched!!

The website features photographs spanning from the late 19th- to the late 20th-Century that pertain to exhibition and education history at the museum; all of the images exhibited reside in the vast pictorial archive of the American Museum of Natural History's research library.

As a scanner and retoucher on this project, I scanned in 8 X 10 glass negatives, 4 X 5 acetates, and everything inbetween. The images are not only stunningly beautiful, but also provide an amazing resource that has much to teach us about, among other things, the evolution of natural history exhibition methods, the development and fabrication of the beloved "habitat groups" (aka dioramas), and the changing messages that natural history museums choose to communicate to us.

Above is a sampling of just a very, very few of my favorites from the website; I could not post even a tenth of my favorites here! I urge you to visit the website yourself to peruse the full collection.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Bill of Mortality" Front Cover, London, 1665

Image above is the Gorey-esque front cover of the 1665 edition of London's "Bill of Mortality."

About "Bills of Mortality," from "The Free Dictionary":
The London Bills of Mortality were the main source of mortality statistics, designed to monitor deaths from the plague from the 1600s-1830s. They were used mainly as a way of warning about plague epidemics.

They began to be made in London after an outbreak of plague in 1592 (although there are a few earlier instances). From 1603, after another outbreak, they were made regularly on a weekly basis, with the view to giving authorities and inhabitants full information as to the increases or decreases in the number of deaths. The information was collected by Parish Clerks and published every week.

Image source: From the online article "The Renaissance Obsession with Mutability and Mortality," by Herman Asarnow, Ph.D., Professor of English Chair Department of English at the University of Portland, Oregon.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Skeleton on a Bicycle, etc.

Two of my favorites from a "weheartit" page by a user called Kodama.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lyndie Dourthe's Anatomically Inspired Art, 20th Century

A lovely piece of anatomically inspired art, part of French artist Lyndie Dourthe's Anatomie series. Found via Outrepart.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Facial Prosthetic, 20th Century

Ophelia Chong has brought another anatomical artifact to Morbid Anatomy's attention, this one a 20th Century facial prosthetic which she found at an estate sale (pictured above). You can read more about the prosthetic and its odd history here.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Morbid Anatomy!

This blog's first post was exactly a year ago today. So hey! Happy Birthday to Morbid Anatomy!

Image (from The National Library of Medicine's very excellent Dream Anatomy exhibit: The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus, William Hunter (1718-1783) [anatomist] and Jan van Riemsdyk (fl. 1750-1788) [artist].

Thursday, June 5, 2008

"Concept Horror" Art Opening, London, Saturday June 7

I received an email from artist Kristen Alvanson about the "Concept Horror" opening party in London this Saturday. The exhibition accompanies the release of Collapse Magazine's horror-themed issue IV. The magazine and the show both feature contributions by Jake and Dinos Chapman, Keith Tilford, and Kristen Alvanson, among others.

Kristen sent me a brief description of her contribution, a photo series called Arbor Deformia, (top two images) in which she uses the teratological taxonomic writings of surgeon-to-the-kings and medical thinker Ambrose Paré, well known for his book Des Monstres et Prodiges of 1573 (bottom two images), as a point of departure. She writes:

...[my] visual essay Arbor Deformia discusses how anatomical or teratological taxonomies present us with a deformation produced in thought in its ongoing struggle to encompass the horror of nature's indifference to its classificatory desires. [The] photographs capture unfortunate creatures in already preserved form, as 'doubly-dead'; all-too familiar, but so repugnant as to oblige us to a discursive dissociation. [I] argue that these deformities and teratological entities therefore seem to breed conceptual monstrosities, out-of-control taxonomical systems as deranged as the beings they are designed to corral into rational discourse. Arbor Deformia, integrating the biological and taxonomical levels of this twofold teratologism, gives an inventive graphical solution to the twisted logics of Ambroise Paré's sixteenth-century classifications which combine anatomy with teratology.

If anyone is in London this Saturday, why not check it out? More infomation about the opening here. More information about the magazine and contributers here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences Special Collections, on Flickr!

I just learned, via the blog Bottled Monsters, about the addition of another library collection to the Flickr web-o-sphere: the Special Collections of the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University. Above are some of my favorites, including a collection of students posing with their dissections, but this is just a small taste of what they've got to offer. See the full collection here.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

"Morbid anatomy of the Human Brain," 1828, Robert Hooper

Images from Robert Hooper's 1828 publication Morbid anatomy of the Human Brain.

Images sourced from this website, under listing "Prints and Images of Morbid Anatomy."

View more images here or here.