Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Physica Sacra," Johannes Jacob Scheuchzer, 1731: Guest Post for The New York Academy of Medicine "Books, Health and History" Blog

In the run-up to the New York Academy of Medicine's upcoming Wonder Cabinet and Medical History Festival (co-curated by Morbid Anatomy and Lawrence Weschler; more here) I have been invited to write a series of guest posts for NYAM's "Books, Health and History" blog about the treasures and curiosities I have found in the Academy's vast historical collection.

I just finished the first post in that series, dedicated to one of my all-time favorite books: Johannes Jacob Scheuchzer's enigmatic and fascinating Physica Sacra, a large-scale, 4-volume high baroque extravaganza of art, science, mysticism, and all worldly knowledge. You can see one of my favorite, extremely Ruysch-esque images from that book above; you can find out more about this image, see many others, and learn more about this curious book on NYAM's Books, Health and History" blog by clicking here.

On a related aside: I am currently working on a new project with some lovely folks who have just purchased for our nascent collection a full, 4 volume, 1st edition Physica Sacra with a provenance tracing back to 18th century prime minister of Denmark Ove Høegh-Guldberg (!!!). Stay tuned for more very soon on that book and project!

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