Saturday, June 30, 2007

Stereo-Diableries (19th Century)

Check out more of these amazing Stereo-Diableries, and learn more about them, at World of Stereoviews and the Early Visual Media website. There is also a great, lavishly illustrated (but, sadly, out-of-print and difficult to come by) book on the topic: Diableries: La Vie Quotidienne Chez Satan a la Fin du 19th Siecle.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Wildgoose Memorial Library

A tip from Evan Michelson of Obscura Antiques and Oddities:
The Wildgoose Memorial Library is a beautiful oasis. Through a passage, up a staircase, and there you are - in a perfect little cabinet of curiosities. Jane Wildgoose herself is gracious and knowledgeable, and her library is extensive.

Find out more about this library, which, to quote the webpage, "may be accessed by persons wishing to consult and make free associations on subjects pertaining to the mysteries of the living in relation to the dead, and on memory and immortality" here.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Herr Marinelli, World Famous Anatomical Puzzle, 1886

A really wonderful example of the overlap of popular anatomy and theater/spectacle in the 19th Century. Thanks to Michael Sappol of the National Library of Medicine for sending it along. For more on poplular anatomy, check out his piece "Morbid curiosity": The Decline and Fall of the Popular Anatomical Museum on the Common-Place website.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

John Lizars (1787-1860)

I came across illustrations for John Lizar's publications in the wonderful book Anatomy Acts: How We Come to Know Ourselves.View more of his work on the Anatomy Acts exhibition website and also here and here. If that's not enough for you, you can download a full PDF of his A System of Anatomical Plates (1822) from the amazing Google Books website.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hieronymus Fabricius ab Aquapendente (1537-1619)

Some wonderful images credited to the Italian anatomist and pioneering embryologist Hieronymus Fabricius ab Aquapendente. (This is his latin name--there appears to some fluidity regarding the exactitude of his proper name, as I have seen him listed with the first names Girolamo and Geronimo, and the last names Fabrici, Fabrizio, and Fabricius to name just a few iterations). You can find out more about him here, here, and here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

La Specola and Italian Horror Films?

A surpising analysis of a proffered link between the La Specola anatomical models, of Taschen Encyclopaedia Anatomicafame, and horror films, complements of Kinoeye: New Perspectives in European Films.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Man Machine: Fritz Kahn (1888-1968)

For an industrial-age take on anatomy and the body's inner mysteries, see these images from the workshop of Fritz Kahn. More on him here, here, here, and here. For fun, compare and contrast his cross-section of the head with that of Gautier d'Agoty directly below.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jacques Fabian Gautier d'Agoty (1717-1785)

View and download the beautiful work of anatomical illustratior Gautier d'Agoty here, here, and here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Syphilis Secundaria -- Syphilis Papulosa Mucosae Oris

A contemporary riff on the classic 1911 Stereoscopic Skin Clinic, "An Atlas of Diseases of the Skin, Consisting of Color Stereoscopic Illustrations and a Text in the Form of Clinical Lectures, Designed for the use of Practitioners and Students of Medicine." Complements of

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Memorial or Post-Mortem Photography

For some great resources on this once-common practice, check out The Paul Frecker Collection, The Kircher Society Website and The Collection of Collections website. Also, a great piece on the subject by Dan Meinwald called Memento Mori. For books on the topic, Stanley Burns' Sleeping Beauty: Memorial Photography in America and its sister volume Sleeping Beauty II: Grief, Bereavement in Memorial Photography American and European Traditions are both excellently written and lavishly illustrated.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Pathological Artwork of Sir Robert Carswell (1793-1857)

Check out some of Sir Robert Carswell's amazing pathology portraits here, here, and here. From his 1838 folio Pathological Anatomy: Illustrations of the Elementary Forms of Diseases.

Great Skeletal Imagery from BibliOdyssey

Click here to see the entire post on the wonderful BibliOdyssey site.

Cool Medical Posters

Cool Chinese Public Health Posters on the National Library of Medicine website.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Damien Hirst In The News

From The Style Section of last Sunday's New York Times:

By William Shaw
Published: June 3, 2007

It’s particularly fitting that the title of Damien Hirst’s new headline-grabbing work came from an exasperated exclamation of his mother’s: “For the love of God, what are you going to do next?”

The answer, pictured here, is a life-size platinum skull set with 8,601 high-quality diamonds. If, as expected, it sells for around $100 million this month, it will become the single most expensive piece of contemporary art ever created. Or the most outrageous piece of bling.

At home in Devon, Hirst insists it’s absolutely the former. “I was very worried for a while, because if it looked like bling — tacky, garish and over the top — we would have failed. But I’m very pleased with the end result. I think it’s ethereal and timeless.”

For Hirst, famous pickler of sharks and bovine bisector, all his art is about death. This piece, which was cast from an 18th-century skull he bought in London, was influenced by Mexican skulls encrusted in turquoise. “I remember thinking it would be great to do a diamond one — but just prohibitively expensive,” he recalls. “Then I started to think — maybe that’s why it is a good thing to do. Death is such a heavy subject, it would be good to make something that laughed in the face of it.”

The dazzle of the diamonds might outshine any meaning Hirst attaches to it, and that could be a problem. Its value as jewelry alone is preposterous. Hirst, who financed the piece himself, watched for months as the price of international diamonds rose while the Bond Street gem dealer Bentley & Skinner tried to corner the market for the artist’s benefit. Given the ongoing controversy over blood diamonds from Africa, “For the Love of God” now has the potential to be about death in a more literal way.

“That’s when you stop laughing,” Hirst says. “You might have created something that people might die because of. I guess I felt like Oppenheimer or something. What have I done? Because it’s going to need high security all its life.”

The piece is not exactly the stuff of public art, but Hirst says he hopes that an institution like the British Museum might put it on display for a while before it disappears into a vault, never to be seen again. Whether the piece is seen or not, Hirst will likely go down in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most extravagant artist.

“I hadn’t thought about that!” he suddenly snorts with laughter. “I deal with that with all my work. The markup on paint and canvas is a hell of a lot more than on this diamond piece.”

Book Reviews

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