Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Morbid Anatomy Museum Grand Opening Celebration and Art of Mourning Exhibition Preview This Friday, June 27th!

Hand colored daguerreotype of a mourning woman from
the collection of Stanley B. Burns MD, author of
Sleeping Beauty and founder of The Burns Archive.
We are beyond excited to announce that the Morbid Anatomy Museum will, at long last, open its doors to the public this Saturday, June 28th at noon! If you arrive right on time, you might be on hand for the official ribbon cutting accompanied by, I am told, complimentary prosecco and hors d'ouevres.

From Saturday on, the Morbid Anatomy Museum will be open from 12-6 every day except for Tuesdays and holidays, and the price of admission will gain you access to both the newly installed Morbid Anatomy Library and our inaugural temporary exhibition "The Art of Mourning." This exhibition will showcase artworks--many of them never before exhibited--relating to mourning culture from the 18th to the 20th century including postmortem paintings and photography; hair art shadowboxes and jewelry; death masks; spirit photography; and mourning china drawn mainly from the astounding private collection of Stanley B. Burns MD, author of Sleeping Beauty and founder of The Burns Archive. Also included are pieces from the collections of Karen Bachmann, Jennifer Berman, Elizabeth A. Burns, Alice Lease Dana, Tracy Hurley Martin, Amber Jolliffe Maykut, Evan Michelson and Mike Zohn. The show is curated by Morbid Anatomy founder Joanna Ebenstein and scholar in residence Evan Michelson.

This Friday, June 27th, we would also like to cordially invite you to a special grand opening celebration and preview where you can take in the exhibitions before they open to the general public while also enjoying live music from violin duo Miolina, DJed tunes by Friese Undine, traditional mourning foods by Rachel Rideout, complementary wine and hors d’oeuvres from Runner and Stone, a special tour of the exhibit by Stanley B. Burns, and a spirit photo booth where you can have your photo taken with a spirit of your choice.

Full details for the party follow; Admission is $50 ($35 for Morbid Anatomy Museum Members). You can purchase tickets here and become a Morbid Anatomy Museum member by clicking here.

Hope very much to see you there! And thanks so very, very much to all of you who supported this project; it could literally not have been happened without you, and we can't wait to welcome you to the new space!
Morbid Anatomy Museum Grand Opening Celebration
Art of Mourning exhibition preview party with hors d'oeuvres, drinks, music and curator and collector talks
Date: Friday, June 27
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $50 ($35 for Morbid Anatomy Museum Members; become a member today by clicking here)
Purchase tickets here
The Morbid Anatomy Museum : 424A 3rd Ave (Corner of 7th St), Brooklyn, NY 11215
Please join us for a special opening celebration for The Morbid Anatomy Museum! Enjoy live music from violin duo Miolina, DJed music by Friese Undine, and traditional mourning foods as well as complementary wine and hors d’oeuvres from Runner and Stone. There will also be spirit photo booth where you can have your photo taken with a spirit of your choice.
Attending this party will also get you an exclusive sneak peek of the museum and our our inaugural exhibition "The Art of Mourning," which will showcase decorative arts relating to mourning culture from the 18th to the 20th century featuring never before exhibited artifacts drawn from the private collection of Stanley B. Burns MD, Technical Consultant to HBO-Cinemax series,"The Knick," author of Sleeping Beauty, founder of The Burns Archive. Dr. Burns will give a special walk through of the exhibition, and curators Joanna Ebenstein and Evan Michelson and many of the other collectors will be on hand to show their pieces and answer your questions.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dentures, Death and Fashion: Waterloo Teeth: Guest Post by Kristin Hussey, Hunterian Museum, London

Kristin Hussey--Assistant Curator of the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons with responsibility for the Odontological Collection--has kindly agreed to write a series of guest posts for Morbid Anatomy about some of the most curious objects in her collection.

The seventh post from that series--entitled "Dentures, Death and Fashion: Waterloo Teeth"-- commemorates The Battle of Waterloo, which took place 199 years ago today--June 18th, 1815.

The full post follows; you can view all posts in this series by clicking here.
Teeth have always been a commodity. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the price for healthy human teeth was at a premium. They were hotly sought after by dentists who used them to replace the lost ones of their wealthy clients. With sugar consumption skyrocketing, the Georgian upper classes began to lose their teeth at an enormous rate and custom dentures were a matter of function and fashion.

These replacement teeth were most commonly made from animal ivory which deteriorated rapidly in the mouth with no enamel to protect them. Human teeth were a more attractive but perhaps unsavory option. In the 18th century, these ‘natural’ teeth were usually acquired from executed criminals, bodies from the Resurrection men, or pulled from dentist’s patients. This was all changed during the Peninsular Wars in the early 19th century where young, healthy men were being killed- an ideal ground for the tooth hunters. The famous surgeon Sir Astley Cooper (1768-1841) is known to have sent a man behind the battles in 1814 to prise the teeth from soldiers’ mouths. His servant famously wrote to him, ‘Only let there be such a battle and there will be no want of teeth; I’ll draw them as fast as the men are knocked down.’

Cooper got his wish on the 18th of June 1815 when the French army was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. Over 51,000 men lost their lives on the field, but their loss was the dentists’ gain. An enormous surplus of human teeth flooded the market. These battlefield teeth quickly picked up the moniker ‘Waterloo teeth’ and even had a certain appeal. Genuine ‘Waterloo teeth’ was a draw for the discerning lady or gentleman looking for a high quality denture.
The Odontological Collection holds a number of dentures with natural teeth from the 19th century, but the only ones we can be certain came from the fields at Waterloo are a collection donated in 1950 by the surgeon and archaeologist Eliot Cecil Curwen (RCSOM/M 30.2). While this may seem quite late, it wasn’t until the early twentieth century that the technology for false teeth was able to steal the business away from the ‘genuine’ article.
  1. "Scotland Forever!" Lady Elizabeth Butler, 1881, depicting the charge of the Royal North British Dragoons (The Scots Greys) at the Battle of Waterloo. Found here.
  2. RCSOM/M 30.2: Teeth removed from bodies after Battle of Waterloo, 1815. These teeth were drawn from the bodies of soldiers who died at the battlefield of Waterloo on 18 June 1815.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ticket to an Anatomical Lecture with Cupids and Human Skull, 1809

Ticket to an anatomical lecture given by Doctor Alexander Ramsay (ca. 1754-1824), dated 1809, which granted Samuel A. Bradley Esquire, "admission to 'Anatomy and Physiology or the 1st Course No. 13' which likely included a live dissection of a cadaver."

Found here.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Vesalius Continuum: Conference Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Andreas Vesalius: Zakynthos, Greece; September 4-8, 2014

I am delighted to be speaking as part of "Vesalius Continuum," a conference celebrating the 500th anniversary of "father of modern anatomy" Andreas Vesalius! Organized by friends Pascale Pollier and Dr. Ann Van de Velde, the "Vesalius Continuum" will take place on the Greek island of Zakynthos (where Vesalius dies in 1564) from September 4-8, and will host a wonderful mix of scientists and artists, medical historians, art historians, medical artists and contemporary artists.

Full conference lineup fellows; for more--and to register!--click here. Hope very much to see you there!
Vesalius Continuum Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Andreas Vesalius
Conference Program
Zakynthos, Greece September 4-8 2014

Thursday, 4 September 2014

10.00: gathering of the officials, speakers and guests
10.30: Opening Ceremony (hosted by Theo Dirix)
10.35: Greetings of Welcome by  Mr Stelios Bozikis, Mayor of Zakynthos; H.E. Marc Van den Reeck, Ambassador of Belgium in Athens; Pascale Pollier, President BIOMAB and AEIMS
10.55: Greek representatives of the Ministries of Health, Education and Tourism
11.15: Key-note speaker: Stefanos Geroulanos, MD, PhD, Professor of Surgery, University of Zurich, Prof emeritus History of Medicine, University of Ioannina, President
11.45: Welcome drink and canapes (hosted by Dr. Stephen Joffe)
13.15 – 14.00: Unveiling of the new monument sculpted by Richard Neave and Pascale Pollier and Plinth with Vesalius coat of arms sculpted by Chantal Pollier and Inauguration
17.00 – 19.30: Round Table: "Traveling through time with a camera in Zakynthos:,
Vesalius and the healers in his footsteps" chaired by: Katerina Demeti, Director of the Museum of D. Solomos and Katerina Kabassi, Head of the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage, TEI of Ionian Islands

Friday, 5 September 2014 / morning session 09:00-12:30
Session 1: Andreas Vesalius – The Life.
Chairs: Stephen Joffe (USA) and Pavlos Plessas (GR)
09.00 – 09.20: Raffaele De Caro - Vesalius’ time in Padova
09.20 – 09.40: Theodoor Goddeeris - Itinerarium Andreae Vesalii
09.40 – 10.00: Maurits Biesbrouck - The last months of Andreas Vesalius
10.00 – 10.30: Discussion
10.30 – 11.00: Coffee break
11.00 – 11.20: Pavlos Plessas - Powerful indications that Vesalius died from scurvy
11.20 – 11.40: Sylviane Dederix- The Quest for the Grave, a G.I.S of the vicinity of the Santa Maria delle Grazie church
11.40 – 12.00: Omer Steeno - Franciscus and Anna: Vesalius’ Brother and Sister in the Spotlight
12.00 – 12.30: Discussion
10.30 – 11.00: Lunch break

Topics: The details of Vesalius’ life were established, to a considerable extent, in Charles O’Malley’s biography published in 1964 on the 400th anniversary of his death and in a later work by Stephen Joffe. However, much recent original historical work (by Steeno, Biesbrouck Goddeeris and Plessas) has focused on the circumstances of his last voyage, his death and his burial place on the island (The Quest for the Grave: Pantokrator or Santa Maria delle Grazia?). Presentation of a G.I.S. by Sylviane Dederix of the Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas (F.O.R.T.H.) and Institute for Mediterranean Studies (I.M.S.) (deputy director Apostolos Sarris) and Pavlos Plessas, seconded by EBSA, the Belgian School in Athens (director Jan Driessen), sponsored by Agfa Healthcare and coordinated by Theo Dirix, will be made by Sylviane Dederix (F.O.R.T.H., UCL). An attempt is made to identify Vesalius’s cause of death (Pavlos Plessas).

Friday, 5 September 2014 / afternoon session 14:00 – 17:30
Session 2: Andreas Vesalius- The Work.
Chairs: Vivian Nutton (UK) and Sachiko Kusukawa (UK).
14.00 – 14.20: Guy Cobolet – Vesalius’ De Humani Corporis Fabrica in context
14.20 – 14.40: Daniel Garrison - Vesalius’ Epistle on the China Root (1546): The Recovering Humanist
14.40 – 15.00: Jacqueline Vons - Vivitur ingenio
15.00 – 15.30: Discussion
15.30 – 16.00: Coffee break
16.00 – 16.20: Stephane Velut.-Vesalius’ Anatomical Observations
16.20 – 16.40: Vivian Nutton - Vesalius and his Annotations
16.40 – 17.00: David J. Williams - Vesalius at Cambridge
17.00 – 17.30: Discussion

Topics: The Fabrica (1543) will of course be the central focus. There are two new developments of special interest concerning what is rightly considered to be one of the great treasures of Western civilisation. A second edition has recently been discovered which scholarly analysis (by Nutton) suggests was annotated by Vesalius himself in preparation for a never published third edition. Karger, located in Basel where the original was published, are bringing out a new English translation (by Garrison and Hast) to coincide with the quincentenary. Attention will also be directed toward his other works such as the Epitome and the China Root Epistle.

20.30: Open Air Concert with Beatriz Macias (flute, voice), Yannick Van De Velde (piano) and Roeland Henkens (trumpet), at the Church of Faneromeni, built in the 17th C, destroyed by the earthquake of 1953, but restored following its original design. The concert opens a tour on the Ionian Islands as part of the cultural cycle: Things from Belgium.

Saturday, 6 September 2014 / morning session 09:00-12:30
Session 3: The art of human anatomy: Renaissance to 21st century
Chairs: Brian Hurwitz ( UK) and Ruth Richardson (UK).
09.00 – 09.20: Robrecht van Hee – Vesalius’s long term impact
09.20 – 09.40: Francis Wells – Leonardo’s working heart
09.40 – 10.00: Roberta Ballestriero – Three dimensional anatomy
10.00 – 10.30: Discussion
10.30 – 11.00: Coffee break
11.00 – 11.20: Ruth Richardson – Gray’s Anatomy
11.20 – 11.40: Paolo Mazzarello and Valentina Cani- Golgi and the fine structure of the nervous system
11.40 – 12.00: Marco Catani- the art of brain imaging
12.00 – 12.30: Discussion
10.30 – 11.00: Lunch break

Topics: Relations between the art and science of anatomy from the time of Vesalius to the present will be considered with particular emphasis on the role of the medical artist and the changing nature of anatomical illustration over the last five centuries. Pivotal changes in the art of anatomy will be examined including the evolution of media and brain imaging from Golgi to Geschwind.

Saturday, 6 September 2014 /afternoon session 14:00-17:30
Session 4: 21st century anatomy teaching and learning Quo Vadis?
Chairs: Peter Abrahams (UK) and Francis van Glabbeek (BE).
14.00 – 14.20: Bernard Moxham – A modern way of learning gross anatomy/dissection by the students
14.20 – 14.40: Susan Standring - Grays anatomy: past, present and future roles of a major reference book
14.40 – 15.00: Shane Tubbs - Translational research: can surgery focus anatomical research and education- the reverse of Vesalius’ time?
15.00 – 15.20: Marios Loukas - Radiology and imaging : a servant of anatomists or shining light of clinical anatomy education?
15.20 – 15.40: Discussion
15.40 – 16.00: Coffee break
16.00 – 16.20: Robert Trelease – Ideal world or not: designing modern anatomy teaching and facilities for meeting changing demands in evolving curricula.
16.20 – 16.40: Richard Turnstall - Latest technology: how can emerging technologies enhance anatomy teaching and learning and has 3D technology got an important future role?
16.40 – 17.00: Tom Lewis – Mobile technology and medical Apps in modern anatomy education: an innovative replacement for the cadaver experience?
17.00 – 17.30: Questions and discussion-Final summary
Speakers all Sponsored by: St. George's University, Grenada, West Indies

Saturday, 6 September 2014 /evening 19:00-20:00
Film: ‘Do we feel with our brain and think with our heart?' by Jan Fabre and Giacomo Rizzolatti
Film: Fabrica Vitae by Sofie Hanegreefs and Jelle Jansens

Sunday, 7 September 2014 / morning session 09:00-12:30
Session 5: 21st century art of human anatomy.
Chair: Ann Van de Velde (BE).
09.00 – 09.20: Eleanor Crook – Depicting a mechanism of life: why the dissected body will not lie down and die.
09.20 – 09.40: Rachael Allen – Project ANATOME: when artist meets anatomy education.
09.40 – 10.00: Margot Cooper and Catherine Sultzmann- Staying ahead of the curve: the future of 3D models and the past from which they developed
10.00 – 10.30: Discussion
10.30 – 11.00: Coffee break
11.00 – 11.20: Lisa Temple-Cox and Glenn Harcourt – “It’s my own invention”. Looking glass and speculum: an anatomical Alice.
11.20 – 11.40: Tonya Hines - Open Access Publishing: The Role of Medical Illustrators in Open Science
11.40 – 12.00: Lucy Lyons – Drawing parallels
12.00 – 12.30: Discussion
10.30 – 11.00: Lunch break

Topics: The role of the medical artist in the 21st century will be addressed together with strategies for the education of medical artists and medical students. The wider field of medical art in the forensic field, in the research field and in the publishing world and literature will be explored, and a close look taken at European ‘Art and Science’ courses and collaborations.

Sunday, 7 September 2014 / afternoon session 14:00-17:00
Session 6: Fabrica Vitae; the stuff of life: A perception of the human body seen through the eye of the contemporary artist
Chairs: Pascale Pollier (BE) and Martin Kemp (UK).
14.00 – 14.20: Stelarc - Engineering aliveness and affect in humanoid robots.
14.20 – 14.40: Nina Sellars- The optics of anatomy and light
14.40 – 15.00: Mara Haseltine – Geotherapy, Art from the Nano to the Geo : Art that addresses the link between our biological and cultural evolution.
15.00 – 15.30: Discussion
15.30 – 16.00: Coffee break
16.00 – 16.20: Joanna Ebenstein – The Morbid Anatomy Museum: A new institution devoted to art and medicine, death and culture, and the things which fall between the cracks
16.20 – 16.40: Andrew Carnie – A change of heart
16.40 – 17.00: Film; Fabrica Vitae by Jelle Jansens and Sofie Hanegreefs. (Andere
Wereld films)
17.00 – 17.30: Discussion

Topics: A session devoted to a variety of cultural events at the interface between the human body, science and technology, sci art, the cyborg body, quantum physics, encompassing performance art, theatre, music and poetry.

Special Plenary Lecture
17.30: Martin Kemp ‘Rhetorics of the real in the Fabrica: Vesalius’s graphic and textual strategies’

Sunday, 7 September 2014 / evening 18:30 -19:30
18:30 – 19:30: Private View exhibition Fabrica Vitae with Champagne reception

Monday, 8 September 2014 / morning session 09:00-10:00
09:00- 10:00: Annual General Meeting for
MAA, AEIMS, and other associations
With thanks to our sponsors
  • Paulsen Media BV
  • Dr. and Mrs Stephen N. Joffe, USA
  • The Wellcome Trust
  • The Vesalius Trust
  • St George’s University Medical School, Grenada
  • Association Européenne des illustrateurs Médicaux et Scientifiques (AEIMS)
  • Biological and Medical Art in Belgium (BIOMAB)
  • H.E. Marc Van den Reeck, Ambassador of Belgium, Athens
  • Theo Dirix, Consul, Embassy of Belgium, Athens
  • The Municipality of Zakynthos, Greece
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belgium
  • The Organizing Committee expresses its gratitude to all organizations and individuals offering advice and support.
Image: Frontispiece to Andreas Vesalius's De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem. Basel: Johannes Oporinus, 1555. Found here.