Monday, May 5, 2014

Art and Anatomy! Nature Music! Amsterdam Anatomy Weekend! Special Event at Philadelphia's Wagner Free Institute! Upcoming Morbid Anatomy Events in New York and Beyond

We have scores of great events to look forward to in the weeks and months to come!

Tonight we are delighted to be hosting the first event in our recently Kickstarter funded (thanks so much to you all!) new Morbid Anatomy Museum space with a lecture on, fittingly enough, Art and Anatomy: Preserving and Exhibiting the Human Body with Dr Corinna Wagner, University of Exeter (TONIGHT Monday, May 5). Later this week we have, also in the new space, Wondrous Tones: In Search of "Nature Music" with the University of Pennsylvania's Emily I. Dolan (Thursday, May 8); Existential Mathematics with Laurent Derobert (Friday, May 9); and The Victorian Art of Hair Jewelry (Saturday, May 10). Offsite we will also have--for those in Europe or those willing to travel!--our very epic Amsterdam Anatomy Weekend with Morbid Anatomy at the Amsterdam's Vrolik Museum (May 10 and 11).

We are also beyond excited to announce a plethora of new events including a special Morbid Anatomy night at Philadelphia's incredible Wagner Free Institute with "virtual guest curators" Joanna Ebenstein (Morbid Anatomy founder) and Evan Michelson (Science Channel's "Oddities") in the museum's perfectly preserved 19th Century lecture theatre (Thursday, May 22); H.D. and Jean Epstein: Queer Modernism, Spectatorship, and The Specimen: a lecture and screening with Mal Ahern and David A. Gerstner, presented by Amy Herzog (Friday, May 16th); Humankind First, Brutes After: Charles Willson Peale, His Museum, and Collecting and Categorizing Nature in the Early US lecture and book signing with author Nathaniel Popkin (Tuesday, June 10); Possession and Prophet:s an illustrated lecture with Ava Forte Vitali, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Thursday, June 12) and The Skeleton Crew: Forensic Science and the Identification of the Unnamed Dead: an Illustrated lecture and book party with MIT's Deborah Halber and retired NYPD detective sergeant John Paolucci (Tuesday, July 8).

Other upcoming events include Making Dinosaurs: The Art and Science of Fossil Preparation with Caitlin Wylie (Tuesday, May 13); Morbid Ingenuity: American Autodecapitants with Robert Damon Schneck (Thursday, May 22); Brontë Relics with Professor Deborah Lutz (Thursday, May 15); Extraordinary Birds: The Art of Ornithology Lecture and Book Signing with Paul Sweet, Department of Ornithology at AMNH; and Morbid Curiosity: A Morbid Anatomy Singles Night with Daisy Tainton (Tuesday May 20); Jewelry of the Damned: Amuletic Protection and Apotropaic Magic with Ava Forte Vitali, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Thursday, May 29); 8-week art-history and studio art class The Body Anatomized with SVA's Jonathon Rosen (Mondays June 2 to July 21) and Anatomical Venuses, Dime Museums, and Waterfront Dives: A Walking Tour from Barnum to the Bowery (Saturday June 7th)

Full list and more information on all events can be found here. Hope to see you at one or more of these terrific events!
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Art and Anatomy: Preserving and Exhibiting the Human Body Illustrated lecture with Dr Corinna Wagner, University of Exeter
Date: TONIGHT Monday, May 5
Time: 8:00 PMAdmission: $8
Location: *** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
In this illustrated talk, Dr Corinna Wagner will investigate collaborations between artists and anatomists, from the late eighteenth century to the present day. We will look at the ways artists and anatomists shared a belief that by understanding the body’s interior, we may more fully understanding what it means to be human. Two medical art forms in particular—wax anatomical models and écorchés (flayed bodies)—inspired debates over such questions as: how might seeing into the body change human identity? How would public access to wax anatomical models and preserved bodies change people’s views about ‘normality’ and ‘abnormality’? Did the spectacle of preserved bodies affect feelings of human compassion, sympathy and communality?
More here.
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Wondrous Tones: In Search of "Nature Music"
Illustrated Lecture with Emily I. Dolan, University of Pennsylvania
Date: Thursday, May 8
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Location: *** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)

What is nature’s voice? Does it understand harmony? Does it know melody? Can nature sing? During the early nineteenth century, many inventors and acousticians were fascinated by the idea of harnessing natural tones. The idea that music and nature are closely bound is an ancient one that stretches back to the harmony of the spheres. The “nature music” of this period, however, was understood not as silent mathematical proportions, but rather as actual sound: beautiful, ethereal tones that were thought to linger from a prelapsarian time. Musicologist Emily I. Dolan explores the many attempts to organize and control the voice of nature by means of new, and often fantastical, musical instruments.
More here.

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Existential Mathematics
An Illustrated Lecture with Laurent Derobert
Date: Friday, May 9
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Buy tickets here
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
Existential Mathematics are an algebra of feelings. They are at the same time a scientific and an artistic discipline whose purpose is to translate freedom into mathematical language. They generate equations, conjectures, theorems, which express emotions, thoughts and doubts as much they cause them.
Every math teacher insists that algebra is a language, but in Laurent Derobert’s hands it becomes sculpture, art, poetry, philosophy. In this talk Laurent will use mathematics to question our relationship with the world, and to re-conquer unexplored territories of consciousness and human interaction. This is algebra with an avowedly human purpose – reducing the labyrinthine distance that separates us from what we dream ourselves to be.
Laurent Derobert was born in 1974, and works in Paris and Avignon. A doctor of economics and a researcher (CNRS GREQAM), he develops models of existential mathematics.

More here.

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The Victorian Art of Hair Jewelry : Workshop with Art Historian and Master Jeweler Karen Bachmann; Mother's Day Special
Date: Saturday, May 10
Time: 1 – 5 PM
Admission: $75
***Tickets must be pre-purchased here
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue ( Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue ), 11215 Brooklyn , NY
Hair jewelry was an enormously popular form of commemorative art that began in the late 17th century and reached its zenith during the Victorian Era. Hair, either of someone living or deceased, was encased in metal lockers or woven to enshrine the human relic of a loved one. This class will explore a modern take on the genre.

More here.

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The Amsterdam Weekend of AnatomyThe Museum Vrolik, Amsterdam

Time and admission Variable
More here.

The Vrolik--Amsterdam’s anatomical museum--and Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum are proud to present a weekend devoted to anatomy over the weekend of May 10th and 11th, 2014. To celebrate, the Vrolik will be open to the public with a special program of lectures, workshops, demonstrations and exclusive museum and backstage tours showcasing its phenomenal and historical collection of osteology, teratology, natural history and curiosities.
Highlights include a workshop in wax modeling with sculptor Eleanor Crook in which students will create---and leave with—their own anatomical or dermatological wax model; demonstrations of liquid anatomical specimen restoration and skeleton mounting and reconstruction; a museum tour focusing on teratology, the specimens of congenital malformations in the Vrolik collection, and historical highlights of the collection; lectures about amazing 17th century anatomical collections such as those of “Artist of Death” Frederik Ruysch; and back stage tours of the Vrolik’s storage rooms.

More here.
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Making Dinosaurs: The Art and Science of Fossil Preparation
Illustrated Lecture by Caitlin Wylie, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Date: Tuesday, May 13
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Location: *** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
Dinosaur skeletons standing tall and mighty are a familiar sight in museums. But how did they get that way? You probably already know that fossils lie encased in ancient rock until that rock weathers away, leaving them exposed and ready to be spotted by a lucky fossil hunter. But what happens next is rarely written down or shared outside the community of fossil researchers and technicians. This talk goes between the lines of scientific publications and behind the scenes of museum laboratories to investigate the people, practices, and motivations involved in making crumbling, incomplete fossils into both beautiful dinosaur skeletons and elegant theories about past life, evolution, and Earth history.
More here.
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Brontë Relics
An Illustrated Lecture with Professor Deborah Lutz
Date: Thursday, May 15
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Buy tickets here
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
Portable desk boxes, samplers, albums of pressed ferns, printed books with diaries written on their flyleaves, mended stockings and locks of hair that belonged to the Brontës carry traces of their lives: nicked with incident, smoothed by handling, frayed with wearing. These things bring to life the daily, domestic round of the Brontë sisters. The Brontës themselves believed in the ability of material objects to be charged with an almost-enchanted meaning, to be imbued by their possessors.

More here.

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H.D. and Jean Epstein: Queer Modernism, Spectatorship, and The Specimen
Lecture and screening with Mal Ahern and David A. Gerstner, presented by Amy Herzog
Date: Friday, May 16th
Time: 8:00 PM
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
Tonight, join us at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn to consider two queer film theorists alongside one another: the French filmmaker Jean Epstein, and the Anglo-American poet H.D. Both wrote prolifically about cinema in the interwar period, and both were filmmakers as well as critics. Both privileged the visual and tactile sensations that cinema offers its viewer. And, perhaps most interestingly, both evince a keen interest in the idea of cinema—as well as the cinematic spectator—as a specimen: a body subjected to a probing, scientific gaze.

More here.

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Special Walter Potter Edition - Anthropomorphic Bunny Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman and Katie Innamorato
Date: Sunday May 18th
Time: 12 – 6 PM
Admission: $350
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue), Brooklyn, NY
Subway: 4th Av – 9th Street (R – F – G)
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy
**Tickets can be purchased by clicking here

Anthropomorphic taxidermy–in which taxidermied animals are posed into human attitudes and poses–was an artform made famous by Victorian taxidermist and museologist Walter Potter. In this class, students will learn to create–from start to finish–anthropomorphic bunnies inspired by the charming and imaginative work of Mr. Potter and his ilk. This class will cover all the more advanced techniques used in rabbit taxidermy from start to finish-from proper skinning and fleshing techniques, how to split, turn and position rabbit ears, dry preservation, and the traditional methods of building their own form using wrapped body. Extra special bunny sized Potter themed props will be provided, and instruction on how to create your own props, such as hats and monocles, will be provided. Students will also be provided with materials to make antlers, horns, or tentacles. As always, students are also welcome to bring their own props or accessories if desired.

More here.
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Morbid Curiosity: A Morbid Anatomy Singles Night
Hosted by Daisy Tainton

Date: Tuesday, May 20th
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $15 (includes one free adult beverage)
Purchase tickets here.
Location: *** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
Are you dying to show off your knowledge of death, diseases and afflictions? Want to meet some like-minded New Yorkers and discuss fun topics like New York's burgeoning measles outbreak? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, we hope you’ll join us for our second Morbid Curiosity: A Morbid Anatomy Singles Night!
Play games with historical, anatomical and medical themes. Meet interesting singles with whom you actually have something in common, curiosity-seekers to join you on your next graveyard tour, or simply hang out with the Morbid Anatomy Team and pick our brains!

Read more about last month's iteration on Nerve.com by clicking here.

More here.
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Morbid Ingenuity: American Autodecapitants
Illustrated Lecture with Robert Damon Schneck
Date: Thursday, May 22
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Buy tickets here
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
Does beheading call to mind the grim excesses of state power or contemporary terrorism? Think again. For a small but dedicated group of nineteenth- and twentieth-century suicides the construction of a home-made guillotine offered not only a quick, clean way out, but also a way to test their engineering skills quite literally to the limit, in a culture that celebrated ‘Yankee ingenuity.’ Join Robert Damon Schneck for an evening dedicated to hinged axes, weighted blades, and even – gulp – the odd chainsaw.

More here.
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Morbid Anatomy at Philadelphia's Wagner Free Institute: Outsider Perspectives with Guest Curators Joanna Ebenstein and Evan Michelson
Illustrated lecture with Morbid Anatomy's Joanna Ebenstein and Oddities' Evan Michelson
Date: Thursday, May 22
Time: Presentation 6:00 - 7:00 PM (Free!)
Tickets: Register here for this lecture (Free) and the Annual Member Reception
*** Offsite at The Wagner Free Institute, 1700 W Montgomery Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19121
Tonight, please join Morbid Anatomy for a special night at one of our favorite museums of all time--The Wagner Free Institute in Philadelphia! For this event, Joanna Ebenstein (Morbid Anatomy founder) and Evan Michelson (Science Channel's "Oddities") have been invited to be guest curators, and, as such, will each give a short, illustrated talk on a few of their favorite artifacts in the Wagner's untouched 19th century collection. Best of all, the talk will take place in one of our favorite spaces ever: the Wagner's time-travelingly incredible 19th century lecture theatre complete with dusty specimens, magic lantern projector, and antique wooden chairs.
More here.

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Jewelry of the Damned: Amuletic Protection and Apotropaic Magic

Illustrated lecture with Ava Forte Vitali, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Date: Thursday, May 29
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Buy tickets here
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
Part of the Death and The Occult in the Ancient World Series
In the ancient world, everyday objects had all sorts of purposes and meanings; many were believed to be infused with magic, in order to protect the owner from all sorts of dangerous elements. While not readily identifiable by to the modern viewer, the symbols used in Ancient Egypt were part of a visual currency that would have been understood by all levels of society. Interestingly, on many personal objects we find images of demons and dangerous animals, that in another context would be seen as harmful to the owner – what are they doing here, and how are they functioning in relation to these other symbols? This lectures aims to present some of these well-known and lesser known magical symbols – as well as introduce a few of our friendly, neighborhood demon protectors.

More here.
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Anthropomorphic Mouse (One or Two Headed!) Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman
Date:  Sunday, June 1st
Time: 1 – 5 PM
Offsite*** Morbid Anatomy Museum ( New Location ) : 424A 3rd Ave, Corner of 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Admission: $110 (one-headed) / $125 (two-headed)
*** Purchase tickets by clicking here.
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy
In this class, students will learn all the skills required to make--and leave class with their very own--piece of one- or two-headed mouse anthropomorphic taxidermy. Anthropomorphic taxidermy--a practice in which taxidermied animals are posed as if engaged in human activities--was an artform made famous by Victorian taxidermist and museologist Walter Potter. In this class, as profiled by the New York Times, students will learn to create--from start to finish--anthropomorphic mice inspired by the charming and imaginative work of Mr. Potter. Your final project might take the form of a bespectacled, whiskey swilling, top hat tipping mouse; or perhaps a rodent mermaid queen of the burlesque world? With some props and some artful styling, your mouse can become whatever or whomever you want; this is the joy of anthropomorphic taxidermy.
More here.

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The Body Anatomized: Art Studio and History Class with SVA's Jonathon Rosen
Dates: Mondays June 2 to July 21 (8 sessions) Admission: $300
Time: 7-10
Tickets: Click here
Class limited to 20 people
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy
Temple of the soul or soft machine? The body is where human art, science, culture, politics and medicine all intersect. This hybrid lecture/studio course takes inspiration from artists ancient to post-modern who use medicine and anatomy as a point of departure for personal, political, religious or scientific commentary. Over eight sessions, Jonathon Rosen will explore the influence of traditional medical imagery on contemporary art-making and pop culture through the lens of history, culture and aesthetics. Examples will range from medieval doctor’s sketchbooks and illuminated manuscripts, via Renaissance medical surrealism and 19th century medical devices, to contemporary works by Damien Hirst, John Isaacs, the virtual human project, BodyWorlds, and beyond. On the way we will also touch on aesthetic surgery, genetics, biomechanics, medical museums, anatomy in movies and French underground comics.

More here.
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Anatomical Venuses, Dime Museums, and Waterfront Dives: A Walking Tour from Barnum to the Bowery
Date: Saturday June 7th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
*** Must pre-order tickets here
Meeting Point: City Hall Park, by the fountain (precise end point TBD)
19th century New York City was a town of varied amusements, from P.T. Barnum’s American Museum to popular anatomical museums to waterfront dives offering such attractions as rat fighting. This 90-minute walking tour will introduce you to a few of these long-vanished diversions, from the dime museums of lower Broadway to the notorious dance halls of the old Five Points to the low-down dives of the Bowery.

More here.
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Two Headed/Anthropomorphic Rat Taxidermy with Divya Anantharaman
Date: Sunday June, 8th
Time: 12 – 6 PM
Offsite*** Morbid Anatomy Museum ( New Location ) : 424A 3rd Ave, Corner of 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Admission: $200
*** Purchase tickets by clicking here.

From Victorian curiosity cabinets to Coney Island sideshows, gaff making has held it's place in history, and our hearts. This class will teach students of all levels everything they need to know about proper small mammal taxidermy technique and the details that make a gaff truly convincing--or comical! Students are encouraged to get creative. Having been commissioned to work on natural oddities (like two faced or 'Janus' kittens) and supernatural freaks (conjoined chicken gaff), the instructor will draw upon her experience to help students create memorable mounts.

More here.

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Humankind First, Brutes After: Charles Willson Peale, His Museum, and Collecting and Categorizing Nature in the Early US
Illustrated lecture and book signing with author Nathaniel Popkin
Date: Tuesday, June 10
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Buy tickets here
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
***
Copies of Lion and Leopard will be available for sale and signing
Artist, inventor and naturalist Charles Willson Peale is best remembered today as the founder of the first American museum. His Philadelphia Museum--opened in the 1780s--displayed side by side his own paintings and taxidermy, the first displayed skeleton of an American mastodon, and other assorted curiosities arranged according to the principles of Linnaean taxonomy. Blurring our contemporary boundaries between art and science, Peale's museum can be seen as a kind of missing link between the Cabinets of Curiosities of old and today's museums.

More here.

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Possession and Prophets: Illustrated lecture with Ava Forte Vitali, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Illustrated lecture with Ava Forte Vitali, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Date: Thursday, June 12
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Buy tickets here
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
Part of the Death and The Occult in the Ancient World Series
On the ancient Mediterranean, the words and wishes of the gods were handed down through a number of different conduits – some human and some not. What were the vehicles for prophecy and how were they interpreted in Ancient Egyptian society? From omens to offerings to the ancient equivalent of ‘phone a friend,’ the manner in which the living communicated with their deities varied, across economic levels and with the development of time. We often see instances of both godly and demonic possession, and will discuss the different vehicles through which the gods could speak, including statues, smells, wind, light, and humans and animals, briefly expanding our dialogue to include neighboring Greece and Roman.
More here.

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Anthropomorphic Insect Shadowbox Workshop with Former AMNH Senior Insect Preparator Daisy Tainton
Date: Saturday, June 14
Time: 1 – 4 PM
Admission: $75
***Must buy ticket here
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy
***Offsite*** Morbid Anatomy Museum ( New Location ) : 424A 3rd Ave
Corner of 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Today, join former AMNH Senior Insect Preparator Daisy Tainton for Morbid Anatomy’s popular Anthropomorphic Insect Shadowbox Workshop.
Rhinoceros beetles: nature’s tiny giants. Adorable, with their giant heads and tiny legs, and wonderful antler-like protrusions. If you think they would be even more adorable drinking tiny beers and holding tiny fishing poles, we have the perfect class for you! In today’s workshop, students will learn to make–and leave with their own!–shadowbox dioramas featuring carefully positioned beetles doing nearly anything you can imagine.
Xylotrupes gideon beetles will be available, one per student. They measure about 3″ tall when standing vertically.

More here.

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The Skeleton Crew: Forensic Science and the Identification of the Unnamed Dead
Illustrated lecture and book party with MIT's Deborah Halber and retired NYPD detective sergeant John Paolucci
Date: Tuesday, July 8
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Buy tickets here
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
***Copies of Skeleton Crew will be available for sale and signing


Please join author Deborah Halber and retired NYPD detective sergeant John Paolucci for an evening exploring what happens when human remains—victims of homicides, suicides and accidents--cannot be identified. The talk, book signing and wine-and-cheese reception mark the release of Deborah Halber’s narrative nonfiction book, The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America’s Coldest Cases.

More here.
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Extraordinary Birds: The Art of Ornithology Lecture and Book Signing
Illustrated lecture with Paul Sweet, Collection Manager in the Department of Ornithology, AMNH
Date: Tuesday, July 22
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424 A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
*** Copies of Extraordinary Birds will be available for sale and signing
Tonight, join American Museum of Natural History ornithologist Paul Sweet for a heavily illustrated lecture based on his new book Extraordinary Birds, the second publication in the AMNH’s Natural Histories series. In Extraordinary Birds, Paul traces the history of ornithological illustration from the Renaissance to the 20th century, examining the development of scientific thought, world exploration and printing techniques, and telling the stories of important figures from the history of ornithology.

More here.
Full list and more information on all events can be found here. More on the Morbid Anatomy Art Academy can be found here.

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