Monday, June 27, 2011

From Votives to Venuses: A Brief History of the Human Anatomical Model, July 5th, The Science Museum, London

Hi All! Next Tuesday, July 5th, I will be giving a lecture at London's Science Museum in the museum's lecture theatre. The lecture if free and open to the public.

Full details follow; If you are free and in the neighborhood, why not stop by?
From Votives to Venuses: A Brief History of the Human Anatomical Model
An Illustrated Lecture by Joanna Ebenstein of The Morbid Anatomy Library
Date: 5th July
Time: 4 PM - 5 PM
The Science Museum’s Lecture Theatre
Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD (Map here)
Admission: Free and open to the public

In the 1690s, surgeon Guillaume Desnoues commissioned wax-worker Gaetano Zumbo to create a life-sized wax copy of one of his most important--and sadly deteriorating--human dissections. This partnership launched a long tradition of collaboration between artists and medical practitioners in the creation of extraordinary and uncannily lifelike anatomical models intended to preserve important anatomical preparations in perpetuity and to instruct and incite wonder in medical students and laypersons alike. Today, join artist and independent researcher Joanna Ebenstein for a lavishly illustrated walk through the world of these fascinating artifacts that are equal parts art and science and which flicker enticingly on the edges of relic and specimen, mysticism and medicine, life and death. This talk will discuss the histories of these objects and their makers as well as their uses and contexts of display; introduce you to many of the amazing museums that house these artifacts; and consider the ways in which these objects relate to a long tradition of religious, allegorical, and artistic approaches to mortality, supplication, and the quest for bodily immortalization.
To download a PDF with more on this and other associated talks, click here. You can find out more about The Science Museum by clicking here. For more information, please contact Selina Pang, Curatorial Coordinator at

Image: "The Slashed Beauty," full-length anatomical model in the Josephinum Collection, Vienna, Austria; Wax model with human hair in rosewood and Venetian glass case; Workshop of Clemente Susini of Florence, 1781-1786 Photographed by Joanna Ebenstein


Suzanne said...

Oh, I really, really hope I can make it to this. It's a bit early but I'll see what I can do. It would be lovely to see/hear you again!

Margaret said...

This looks so fascinating. Good luck!

JE said...

Would love to see you there, Suzanne! Come!

AnatomyUK said...

As a fellow anatomy blogger and anatomy enthusiast, I'll definitely be there! Looking forward to meeting you, Emily