Thursday, March 10, 2016

Anatomical Venus Book Release Party and Symposium Saturday June 4: SAVE THE DATE

On Saturday June 4, we hope you’ll join us at The Morbid Anatomy Museum to celebrate the release of The Anatomical Venus, a new Morbid Anatomy book coming out this May (by DAP in the US and Thames and Hudson elsewhere) which explores the strange and fascinating history of seductive female anatomical wax models which peaked in fashion in the 19th century. Packed with over 250 images--many never before published images--from around the world and documented in intricate detail, the book is the result of Morbid Anatomy founder Joanna Ebenstein's ten-year photographic quest.

The book's text explores the Anatomical Venus within her historical and cultural context in order to reveal the shifting attitudes toward death and the body that today render such spectacles strange. It reflects on connections between death and wax, the tradition of life-sized simulacra and preserved beautiful women, the phenomenon of women in glass boxes in fairground displays, and ideas of the ecstatic, the sublime and the uncanny.

To celebrate, we will host a symposium exploring the range of topics covered by The Anatomical Venus including (but certainly not limited to) anatomized women, wax, the ecstatic, agalmatophilia (people who fall in love with non-animate humans), Catholicism and the cult of the saints, the uncanny, and more.

Full lineup and details to come. You can sign up to attend the event on Facebook to be alerted to more information as it is released, or simply watch this space.
Image: Venerina (Little Venus), life-sized dissectible wax model created by the workshop of Clemente Susini at Florence’s La Specola for Museo di Palazzo Poggi, Bologna, Italy, 1782. Photo by Joanna Ebenstein

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