Wednesday, July 11, 2012

This Friday the Thirteenth: A Highly Illustrated Virtual Tour of Medical Museums of the Western World by Morbid Anatomy at Observatory!

Just a friendly reminder: if you are looking for a way to celebrate this upcoming Friday the 13th--and who isn't, really?--why not come down to Observatory for a special event: a highly illustrated and subjective tour of medical museums of the Western World by Morbid Anatomy's Joanna Ebenstein, followed by music and delicious artisanal cocktails compliments of Friese Undine?

Why not, indeed!

Full details follow; hope very much to see you there!
Anatomical Venuses, The Slashed Beauty, and Fetuses Dancing a Jig
A heavily illustrated lecture by Morbid Anatomy founder Joanna Ebenstein, followed by afterparty featuring thematic music and specialty cocktails by Friese Undine
Date: Friday, July 13
Time: 8:00
Admission: $10
Presented by Morbid Anatomy 
Since 2005, artist, independent scholar and Morbid Anatomist Joanna Ebenstein has travelled the world seeking out--and photographing whenever possible--the most fascinating, curious, and overlooked medical collections and wunderkammern, backstage and front, private and public. In the process, she has amassed not only an astounding collection of images but also a great deal of knowledge about the history and cultural context of these fascinating and uncanny artifacts.  
This Friday the Thirteenth, please join us for a heavily illustrated lecture based on this research, followed by a thematic afterparty. In her lecture "Anatomical Venuses, The Slashed Beauty, and Fetuses Dancing a Jig," Ebenstein will lead you on a highly-illustrated tour of medical museums and introduce you to many of their most curious and enigmatic denizens, including the Anatomical Venus, the Slashed Beauty, the allegorical fetal skeleton tableau (as seen above), the flayed horseman of the apocalypse, and three fetuses dancing a jig. Ebenstein will contextualize these artifacts via a discussion of the history of medical museums and modeling, a survey of great artists of the genre, and an examination of other death-related arts and amusements which made up the cultural landscape at the time that these objects were originally created, collected, and exhibited. Following, please stick around for an afterparty featuring thematic tunes and inventive artisanal cocktails complements of the omni-talented Friese Undine.  
Joanna Ebenstein is a multi-disciplinary artist with an academic background in intellectual history. She runs the Morbid Anatomy blog and related open-to-the-public Brooklyn-based Morbid Anatomy Library. She is also the founding member of Observatory, a Brooklyn based arts and events space devoted to the revival of the 18th century notions of the dilettante and rational amusements. Her recent work—which includes photography, curation, installation, blogging, museum consulting, lecturing and writing—centers on anatomical museums and their artifacts, collectors and collecting, curiosities and marvels, 18th and 19th Century natural history and, as the subtitle of her blog states, “surveying the interstices of art and medicine, death and culture.” She has lectured at a variety of popular and academic venues, and her work has been shown and published internationally; she is the current Coney Island Musuem artist in resident, and recent solo exhibitions include The Secret Museum and Anatomical Theatre. You can find out more at her at her website and her blog Morbid Anatomy; you can view much of her photography work by clicking here. She can be reached at morbidanatomy [at]
You can find out more about this event here.

Images top to bottom, as drawn from my recent photo exhibitions The Secret Museum and Anatomical Theatre:
  1. "Fetal Skeleton Tableau, 17th Century, University Backroom, Paris; © Joanna Ebenstein, 2010
  2. Skeleton and hand models for "la médecine opératoire" Musée Orfila, Paris. Courtesy Université Paris Descartes; © Joanna Ebenstein, 2010
  3. Plaster Models in Pathological Cabinet, The Museum of the Faculty of Medicine at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow; © Joanna Ebenstein, 2010
  4. Wax Anatomical Models in Rosewood and Venetian Glass Boxes, The Josephinum, Workshop of Clemente Susini of Florence circa 1780s, Vienna, Austria; © Joanna Ebenstein, 2007
  5. "Slashed Beauties" in Rosewood and Venetian Glass Boxes, The Josephinum, Workshop of Clemente Susini of Florence circa 1780s, Vienna, Austria; © Joanna Ebenstein, 2007

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