Haunting Images: Photography and Dissection, An Online Exhibit

Welcome back to the Dittrick Musuem Blog! Last week, we featured an online exhibit about dermatology and photography, featuring the work of William Thomas Corlett. This week, I will be presenting material that I have always found personally fascinating--a history of anatomy in pictures! This online exhibit features photographs from our collection of approximately three hundred dissection images (yes!). Most of these intriguing photographs feature a group of students gathered around the cadaver, either actively dissecting or just posing, often wearing their best suits. The students, not the cadavers. Well, not usually. Anatomical dissection and medical education. Beginning in fourteenth century Italy and lasting...

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The Dittrick Museum Presents: Lindsey Fitzharris and "Medicine's Dark Secrets"

Imagine, if you will, a low stone slab. Upon it, dimly lit and un-preserved, is a three-day-old corpse going slowing rancid in warm the summer night. This, young surgeon, is your textbook. If you are lucky. For many a medical student, the remains were less fresh, less available (and occasionally less human) than the one I have described. In the 16th century, Andreas Vesalius–the father of anatomy–had to steal half-rotten bodies from the gibbet after hanging. Not what you expect, perhaps, of the profession that has since risen to be one of the most well-respected and well-paid in...

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Hot off the presses! : Medical Museums: Past, Present, Future

Just yesterday we received copies of Medical Museums: Past, Present, Future, published by the Royal College of Surgeons of England to mark the 200th anniversary of their museum opening. The origin of the RCSE museum may be traced to the acquisition of John Hunter’s anatomy and pathology collections in 1799. The College had just purchased property on Lincoln’s Inn Fields and would soon build its new home there, incorporating gallery space for Hunter’s collections. The doors opened in May 1813 and the Hunterian remains a distinguished medical museum today, having most recently (2005) been re-opened in a beautifully renovated...

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Dittrick at Pecha Kucha Cleveland 2013

On last Friday night, I presented the Percy Skuy contraceptive collection atPecha Kucha Cleveland, an event for architects, designers, artists, artisans, and many other creative folk, attended by 300+ at the House of Blues.  The invitation came from Aseem Garg, CWRU grad student interning with my daughter Patty at the Cleveland Museum of Art – he was sold after seeing my video from the Trojan Co., which aired in February.  We (12 presenters) each shared 20 slides, limited to just 20 seconds of commentary. If and when the Pecha Kucha video is available, I'll share. Best thing about the evening was sharing it with Patty...

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