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Group Pictures

The most common dissection image is the group portrait showing students gathered around the dissection table in gross anatomy class. Typically, these images feature the three or four students that worked together on the same cadaver, but some images include up to a dozen or more students. Students are dressed for dissecting class, adorned with protective aprons, smocks, or long coats and, as time progresses, surgical caps and gloves. Tables are often inscribed with the school name and students’ class year.

Here are two examples. Many more may be found in the book: Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine 1880-1930

Page last modified: February 8, 2017