As noted by Ludmilla Jordanova and Deanna Petherbridge in The Quick and the Dead: Artists and Anatomy, artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci made enormous contributions to the emerging sciences of the body. The study of anatomy was, in fact, obligatory for many schools of art--and artists like Allessandro Allori composed anatomy textbooks for physicians.The close approximation of art and anatomy meant that the artists needed both “perceptual drawing skills” and “a strong stomach,” but just as the artist might be sometimes an anatomist, the anatomist or physician might sometimes be an artist. In this post, we will...
Last week, I discussed the unusual nature of William Smellie's "celebrated apparatus," or mechanized obstetrical phantom. Today, I will continue with part two, where I give contemporary physician Peter Camper's laudatory description--and discuss the woman-machine's vanishing act. --Brandy Schillace
After attending Smellie’s lectures, he described the “contraction of both the internal and external os, the generation of water in parturition and dilatation of the os uteri are so natural that hardly any difference is to be noticed between these, and those in natural women.” From Camper, a physician and surgeon certainly aware of actual anatomy, such a claim is...
Last week, Dr. Edmonson (curator of the Dittrick Museum), provided a kind introduction to my work. Today, I am happy to continue the tale with part one of a two-part series.
This journey took place over the course of three years, on two continents--and through the wonderful collections of several museums, beginning with our own Dittrick. I give you the tale--of a trail.
--Brandy Schillace, PhD
On the Trail of the Machine: William Smellie's "Celebrated Apparatus"
What is the lifespan of a medical device? Most generally, the utility of any instrument determines its tenure in medical practice—and subsequent models evolve to replace their...