Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dance of Death! Real Anatomical Specimens! Comparative Anatomy! Carbon Dust Medical Art! Morbid Anatomy Workshops at The New York Academy of Medicine, October 5

As readers of this blog will already know, Morbid Anatomy is co-curating--along with Lawrence Weschler, author of Mr. Wilson and his Cabinet of Wonders--an upcoming Festival of Medical History and the Arts at the New York Academy of Medicine which will take place at the very lovely Academy of Medicine on Saturday, October 5th.

As part of the festivities, Morbid Anatomy will be presenting four our all-time most popular anatomically-themed Morbid Anatomy Art Academy classes. We will begin the day with Lado Pochkhua's "Dance of Death" class (top image), in which students will create their very own fully finished linocut based on the forty-two wood cuts published by Hans Holbein under the title “Dance of Death” in 1538. In a class taking place in another room at the same time, students will have the opportunity to dissect and draw Didelphis virginiana–the North American opossum, a “living fossil” whose anatomy has remained virtually unchanged over the past 70 million years--in a dissection and drawing workshop led by physical anthropologist Samuel Strong Dunlap, PhD (third image). 

Following, NYU’s Chris Muller will give a reprise of his "Comparative Anatomy: Animals and the Fundamentals of Drawing" class (second image) in which, with the use of several skeletons and other resources, students will learn to recognize and depict the basic shared forms between humans and other animals. Finally, Board Certified Medical Illustrator Marie Dauenheimer will teach students the technique of carbon dust using real anatomical specimens; this technique, now largely forgotten, was an essential component of medical illustration until the digital age, allowing the artist to create luminous, textural, three-dimensional drawings by layering carbon dust on prepared paper (bottom image).

Complete details and registration links follow for all classes. You can find out more about the Festival of Medical History and the Arts at the New York Academy of Medicine by clicking here. Hope to see you at one or more!

Dance of Death by Hans Holbein
A Linocut Workshop with Classically Trained Artist Lado Pochkhua
Time: 11am-3pm (4 hours)
Class size limited to 10
Cost: $50; Register here.

The “dance of death” or “danse macabre” was a “medieval allegorical concept of the all-conquering and equalizing power of death, expressed in the drama, poetry, music, and visual arts of western Europe, mainly in the late Middle Ages. It is a literary or pictorial representation of a procession or dance of both living and dead figures, the living arranged in order of their rank, from pope and emperor to child, clerk, and hermit, and the dead leading them to the grave.” (Encyclopedia Britannica). One of the best known expressions of this genre are a series of forty-two wood cuts by Hans Holbein published in 1538 under the title “Dance of Death.”

In this class, students will learn the techniques of woodcuts and linocuts by creating a copy of one of Hans Holbein’s prints from the Dance of Death series. The class will follow the entire process from beginning to end: drafting a copy of the image, either a fragment or whole; transfer of the image to a linoleum block; cutting the image; printing the image on paper. Students will leave class with their own finished Dance of Death linocut and the skills to produce their own pieces in the future.
  • creating a copy of either a fragment or full image from the series on paper. The copy can either be freehand and stylized, or students can use a grid to copy more exactly.
  • transfer the drawing to linoleum.
  • correction of image, and beginning to cut the image.
  • finalizing the cut image.
  • Printing the image. Students will be able to use several colors and backgrounds to create the final image.
Lado Pochkhua was born in Sukhumi, Georgia in 1970. He received his MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Tbilisi State Art Academy in Georgia in 2001. He currently divides his time between New York and Tbilisi, Georgia.

  • A block of linoleum: Blick Battleship Gray Linoleum, mounted or unmounted (details here)
  • Speedball Speedy-carve blocks, pink only (details here) Size: 9×12 or 8×10.
  • Linocutter set: Blick Lino Cutter Set (details here)Water soluble printing inks
  • Printing paper
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencils
  • Black markers (fine point)

Dissection and Drawing Workshop with Real Anatomical Specimens with physical anthropologist Samuel Strong Dunlap, PhD 
Time: 11:00am - 2:00pm (3 hours)
Class size limited to 12
Cost: $65; Register here.

Modern scientific dissection and illustrations commenced in the Renaissance. Basic anatomical dissection, illustration and knowledge are still fundamental in many fields such as evolutionary biology, surgery, quality medical schools, and forensic science.

In today’s workshop, we will dissect and draw a Didelphis virginiana–the North American opossum–a “living fossil” whose anatomy has remained virtually unchanged over the past 70 million years; this creature is considered to be a good model for a basal–i.e. early or original–mammal. Many comparative skeletal materials will be available for examination and illustration, and additional specimens may also be available. Gloves, scalpels and probes will be provided. Marie Dauenheimer, medical illustrator (and instructor of this afternoon’s carbon dust workshop), will assist with this workshop.

Dr. Samuel Strong Dunlap is a physical anthropologist teaching and conducting research in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. He specializes in human and primate musculoskeletal anatomy with the goal of clarifying evolutionary and development issues. Since completion of his PhD at Michigan State University he has worked and done research in forensic anthropology, human and primate anatomy and human evolution. He has worked on human burial sites, forensic cases, with museum collections at Case Western Reserve University, the Smithsonian and Howard University Anatomy department. Archeology field experience included: an 18th century French fort in Indiana, a Mousterian site in Tuscany and a 100 square mile religious area in the Siskiyou Mountains of northern California.

Materials to bring with you to class:
  • Good quality drawing paper
  • Graphite pencils, HB, 2B
  • Colored pencils, emphasis on blue and brown shades
  • Erasers

Comparative Anatomy: Animals and the Fundamentals of Drawing with Chris Muller, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts
Time: 3:30pm-6:30pm (3 hours)
Class size limited to 12
Cost: $50; Register here.

Using animal and human anatomy as a jumping off point, this course will look at the ground-level, first principles of drawing as representation. Focusing mainly on mammal anatomy, we’ll look at the basic shared forms between humans and other animals, how these forms dictate movement, and how to express those forms.

With the aid of several skeletons we’ll look at basic structures, sprinkling our exploration with odd facts and observations. Messy investigatory drawings will ensue.

Chris Muller is an artist and exhibit designer based in Brooklyn. He has designed exhibits for the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum for African Art, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, and many others. He has designed sets for Laurie Anderson, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, the Atlantic Theater Company, and others. He teaches drawing and digital painting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Materials to bring with you to class:
  • Sketchbook or sketchpad, 11 X 14 or larger
  • B and HB pencils
  • Colored pencils, in the reds and blues and browns
  • Hand pencil sharpener
  • Erasers

Carbon Dust Drawing Workshop, Featuring Real Anatomical Specimens
Drawing class with Board Certified Medical Illustrator Marie Dauenheimer, MA, CMI
Time: 4:00pm-7:00pm (3 hours)
Class size limited to 12
Cost: $65; Register here.

Carbon dust is a technique perfected by medical artist Max Brodel, at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, in the late 19th century. This technique–which, until the digital age, was an essential component of medical illustration education–allows the artist to create luminous, textural, three-dimensional drawings by layering carbon dust on prepared paper.

Today’s one day intensive workshop will teach students the use of this all but forgotten medium, and guide each student in the creation of a finished work based on real anatomical specimens supplied by the instructor. The workshop will also include a historical lecture placing carbon dust drawings in the context of the history of anatomical and medical art. The instructor will provide all materials necessary for this workshop, and will also share finished carbon dust drawings.

Marie Dauenheimer is a Board Certified Medical Illustrator working in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. She specializes in creating medical illustrations and animations for educational materials, including posters, brochures, books, websites and interactive media. Since 1997 Marie has organized and led numerous “Art and Anatomy Tours” throughout Europe for the Vesalius Trust. Past tours have explored anatomical museums, rare book collections and dissection theatres in Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Scotland and England. In addition to illustrating Marie teaches drawing, life drawing and human and animal anatomy at the Art Institute of Washington. Part of Marie’s anatomy class involves study and drawing from cadavers in the Gross Anatomy Lab at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC. More on all and ticketing info can be found here.

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