From Hippocrates to Freud: Highlights from Columbia University’s Health Sciences Library

Special Guided Tour with Stephen E. Novak, head of archives and special collections
Date: Saturday, July 12th
Time: 3pm to 4.30pm
Admission: $15
Tickets here.
*** Offsite: Meeting Point at 3pm in the lobby of the Columbia University Medical Center’s Hammer Health Science Building, 701 West 168th St. at the corner of Fort Washington Ave, just one block west of the 168th Street station on the A, C, and 1 lines.  For detailed directions and a map see: http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/map

The archives & Special Collections at Columbia University’s Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library holds a trove of rare books and manuscripts dating from the Renaissance to the 21st century with particular strengths in anatomy and plastic surgery.

Among the treasures on display will be classic anatomical texts such as Vesalius’s landmark De Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543) and William Hunter’s gigantic atlas of the stages of pregnancy, The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus (1774); the first published book on plastic surgery (1597) with its step-by-step illustrations on how to perform a nose job; one of the earliest photograph albums created to document the results of surgery; letters of Florence Nightingale; books from the library of Sigmund Freud; and many other important or just curious items relating to the history of medicine.
Today, join us for a special guided tour of this wonderful collection with Stephen E. Novak, head of archives and special collections at the Columbia University Medical Center.

Understanding the Aspective Art of Ancient Egypt

Illustrated lecture with Ava Forte Vitali, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Date: Thursday, July 17

Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $8
Buy tickets here
*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum (New Space) , 424A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue)
Presented by Morbid Anatomy

Part of the Death and The Occult in the Ancient World Series

While school children and soccer moms alike can strike that notorious ‘walk like an Egyptian’ pose, few people actually understand the motives and reasons behind the distinct artistic style of the ancient Egyptians. Their artwork depicting the natural world demonstrates that they were talented artists, who were able to carefully depict things according to how they actually appeared. Why, then, did they choose to show some things–including themselves!–in the specific and somewhat strange manner which we call aspective? This lecture will explain the cultural reasoning behind this style of depiction, the link between Egyptian art and the written word, and will provicde you with the knowledge to interpret almost any piece of Egyptian art, and impress friends on museum visits for years to come!

Ava Forte Vitali completed her Master’s Degree in Art History and Archaeology, with a specialization in the Egyptian and Classical World, at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her research interests include the interaction of the physical and spirit world in Ancient Egypt, archaeology of the household, and Ancient Egyptian domestic and ancestor cults, on which her Master’s focused. She has excavated at sites in Egypt and Turkey, and is a Collections Manager for Greek and Roman Art at the Metropolitan Museum. She is currently writing a contribution on the Arts and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, for an upcoming text book on the introduction to Art History.

Death and The Occult in the Ancient World Series
This is a new series of monthly lectures, workshops and tours which aim to examine the way people along the ancient Mediterranean interacted with the unseen forces in the world. While many basic ancient myths and mortuary traditions are known to most people with a casual interest, often this barely scrapes the top of a rich wealth of information and long history of interesting, engaging, and surprisingly weird traditions and beliefs. Through illustrated lectures, guided tours, and occasional workshops, we  will strive to understand the different approaches that the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans had to explaining the world around them and challenge popular misconceptions held by the public today.

Through this series we hope to bridge the gap that often exists between academic disciplines and the public audience, bringing the two together in an approachable forum. Led by a trained Archaeologist and Art Historian Ava Forte Vitali of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this series will expand upon topics including religion, art, archaeology, and texts, in order to further our understanding of both our world and theirs.

The Beauty of Anatomy in Contemporary Art

Damian Hirst, ‘Anatomy of an Angel

An Illustrated Lecture with Morbid Anatomy Artist and Anatomist in Residence Emily Evans
Date: Wednesday, July 9
Time: 8:00
Admission: $8

Tickets here

*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 A 3rd Avenue ( Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue ), 11215 Brooklyn, NY (Subway: 4th Av – 9th Street : R – F – G)

Anatomy has become a hot topic in contemporary art over the last decade. But just what is it that makes a great piece of anatomical art? And what makes anatomical art so fascinating to some and so disturbing to others? In tonight’s talk, Morbid Anatomy Artist and Anatomist in Residence Emily Evans will investigate these questions via a survey anatomical artworks ranging from the historically beautiful to the contemporary controversial, such as the plastinated bodies of Gunther Von Hagens and the provocative works of Damien Hirst. She will also introduce us to more obscure works pushing the boundaries of anatomical art.

Emily Evans, BSc Anatomy & Cell Biology PGCE MMAA RMIP; Morbid Anatomy Artist in Residence, July, 2014
Following her degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology, Emily trained and worked as a school teacher of science and biology in London. Taking a break from full time teaching, Emily retrained as a medical illustrator with the Medical Artists’ Association of Great Britain. Since qualifying, she has been a freelance Medical Illustrator for the last 11 years and works from her studio in London, UK. Throughout her career, she has continued to teach part time, both running a Saturday school in east London, whilst also teaching anatomy at universities in both London and Cambridge. Emily has been a Senior Demonstrator of Anatomy at Cambridge University for 9 years, teaching the medical students dissection and anatomy. Alongside her commissioned artworks, Emily has her own projects and exhibitions reflecting anatomy through contemporary art. She is passionate about the promotion and education of anatomy and art and regularly runs workshops and is involved in anatomical art exhibitions in the UK and USA. In a natural evolution of working on more collaborative anatomy and art projects, Emily launched her store ‘Anatomy Boutique’ in 2013 selling her own uniquely designed products inspired by anatomy.

Street Anatomy: A Night of Art, Anatomy and Pop Culture with Street Anatomy’s Vanessa Ruiz and Emily Evans

An Illustrated Lecture with Vanessa Ruiz, creator of the blog Street Anatomy followed by Q and A with Morbid Anatomy Museum Artist and Anatomist in Residence Emily Evans
Date: Friday, July 25
Time: 8:00
Admission: $8

Tickets here.

*** Offsite: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 A 3rd Avenue ( Corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue ), 11215 Brooklyn, NY (Subway: 4th Av – 9th Street : R – F – G)

Vanessa Ruiz founded the blog Street Anatomy at a time when there was no online presence for medical illustration/art. Over the last seven years, the website it has grown by merging and celebrating the worlds of anatomy, art and pop culture. Tonight, join Morbid Anatomy Museum Artist and Anatomist in Residence Emily Evans and Street Anatomy founder Vanessa Ruiz for an illustrated discussion which will range from the current state of anatomical art and its expanding community to the ways in which fostering relationships with artists helps connect and strengthen this niche subject.

Vanessa Ruiz is a trained Medical Illustrator, Visual and User Interface Designer, Curator, and all out anatomy fanatic. Obsessed with the beauty and intrigue of human anatomy Vanessa founded Street Anatomy in 2007 to showcase how anatomy is visualized in art, design, and pop culture through a visual blog, gallery shows, and gallery store. Anatomical illustration and medical imaging are breaking out of the confines of the medical world and are being used by artists and designers to bring a human and emotional element for their art—as well as a touch of memento mori. Through Street Anatomy, Vanessa strives to showcase and promote these artists and designers who consistently find innovative ways to portray anatomy in contemporary art, street art, tattoos, fashion, and beyond.

Emily Evans, BSc Anatomy & Cell Biology PGCE MMAA RMIP; Morbid Anatomy Artist in Residence, July, 2014
Following her degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology, Emily trained and worked as a school teacher of science and biology in London. Taking a break from full time teaching, Emily retrained as a medical illustrator with the Medical Artists’ Association of Great Britain. Since qualifying, she has been a freelance Medical Illustrator for the last 11 years and works from her studio in London, UK. Throughout her career, she has continued to teach part time, both running a Saturday school in east London, whilst also teaching anatomy at universities in both London and Cambridge. Emily has been a Senior Demonstrator of Anatomy at Cambridge University for 9 years, teaching the medical students dissection and anatomy. Alongside her commissioned artworks, Emily has her own projects and exhibitions reflecting anatomy through contemporary art. She is passionate about the promotion and education of anatomy and art and regularly runs workshops and is involved in anatomical art exhibitions in the UK and USA. In a natural evolution of working on more collaborative anatomy and art projects, Emily launched her store ‘Anatomy Boutique’ in 2013 selling her own uniquely designed products inspired by anatomy.

Frederik Ruysch Wet Specimen Workshop

Wet specimen by Dutch anatomist Frederik Ruysch (left) and Mark Batelli (right).

Workshop with Mark Batelli, Wet Specimen Restorer at Obscura Antiques
Date:
Sunday, July 13th
Time: 1:00 PM
– 6 PM
Admission $100 (Limited to 8 students)
Purchase tickets here

Presented by Morbid Anatomy

*** Offsite at the Morbid Anatomy Museum ( New Location ) : 424A 3rd Ave (Corner of 7th St), Brooklyn, NY 11215

In this workshop, artist and wet specimen restorer Mark Batelli will teach students how to preserve and prepare specimens in an educational, allegorical and artful manner inspired by the work of Dutch anatomist Frederik Ruysch (1638 – 1731). Students will be provided with their choice of a gopher or frog, a selection of other non living objects with which to embellish the jar, and all other necessary materials to creating a finished piece. They will also learn how to handle fresh and preserved specimens, the materials involved, different kinds of preservation, potential hazards and the different materials to choose from. Each student will leave with a fully finished piece and the knowledge to make their own pieces in the future. Mark will also speak about the history of wet specimens and different preparators and methods with a special focus on Dutch master Frederik Ruysch whose allegorical and highly ornamental displays (see image) serve as the inspiration for this class.

Brooklyn based artist Mark Batelli works as a wet specimen restorer at Obscura Antiques, with a history as a traveling DJ and artist, digerati and a nomadic Boheme through the western world from California to Greece.

 

“Art of Mourning” Exhibition

Hand colored mourning photograph from the collection of Stanley B. Burns MD, author of Sleeping Beauty and founder of The Burns Archive.

An exhibition curated by Joanna Ebenstein and Evan Michelson
Exhibition Opening Party: Friday, June 27 (more here)
On View: Saturday, June 28 – December 4, 2014
*** Offsite at the Morbid Anatomy Museum ( New Location ) : 424A 3rd Ave (Corner of 7th St), Brooklyn, NY 11215

An exhibition showcasing decorative arts relating to mourning culture from the 18th to the 20th century including post-mortem photography; hair art shadowboxes and jewelry; memorial cards; mourning paraphernalia; death masks; and spirit photography. Curated by Joanna Ebenstein and Evan Michelson and featuring astounding, never before exhibited artifacts from the private collection of Stanley B. Burns MD, author of Sleeping Beauty and founder of The Burns Archive. Also included will be pieces from the collections of Karen Bachmann, Jennifer Berman, Elizabeth A. Burns, Jennifer Butkevich, Alice Lease Dana, Tracy Hurley Martin, Evan Michelson and Mike Zohn.

Morbid Anatomy Museum Grand Opening Celebration

Hand colored mourning photograph from the collection of Stanley B. Burns MD, author of Sleeping Beauty and founder of The Burns Archive.

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

Presented by Morbid Anatomy

*** Offsite at the Morbid Anatomy Museum ( New Location ) : 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.

 

 

Halloween: The Curious Story of America’s Most Horrible Holiday

Illustrated Lecture by Lesley Bannatyne, author of Halloween: An American Holiday, An American History
Date:
Sunday October 26th
Time: 8:00 PM

Admission: $8

Purchase tickets here

Presented by Morbid Anatomy

*** Offsite at the Morbid Anatomy Museum ( New Location ) : 424A 3rd Ave (Corner of 7th St), Brooklyn, NY 11215

No matter how much we try to stretch it, Halloween happens only when the light casts a certain length of shadow and the temperature slides. The night is dug into the year like a marker. Before Halloween: creativity, anticipation, endless possibility. After Halloween: winter. The sheer G-force of accelerating time makes us cling to something organically cyclical, to hold tight to this night of benevolent exhibitionism and group glee before the bitter dissension of November hits.

Tonight, join Halloween scholar Lesley Bannatyne as she traces our onetime children’s holiday-turned-blood-and-guts carnival from its tiny origins in northwestern Europe through its recent explosion in popularity in the States. Drawing on research from her latest book, Halloween Nation. Behind the Scenes of America’s Fright Night, Bannatyne looks at everything from spirit communication to monster culture to extreme haunted entertainments to horror films, to highlight who celebrates Halloween and what makes it so important to so many people

Lesley Bannatyne is an author who has written five books on Halloween who has appeared on television specials for Nickelodeon and the History Channel (“The Haunted History of Halloween,” “The Real Story of Halloween”), in Time Magazine, Slate, and National Geographic, and has given talks at venues as diverse as the 2000 Halloween Convergence in New Orleans and the St. Louis Art Museum. She contributed the Halloween article to World Book Encyclopedia. Most recently, she, with many compatriots, held the Guinness World Record for “Largest Halloween Gathering,” from October 2007-09.

The Dead Alive: The Victorian Fear of Premature Burial

Illustrated Lecture by Megan Rosenbloom, Medical Librarian at the University of Southern California
Date: Tuesday, July 1

Time: 8:00 PM

Admission: $8

Purchase tickets here

Presented by Morbid Anatomy

*** Offsite at the Morbid Anatomy Museum ( New Location ) : 424A 3rd Ave (Corner of 7th St), Brooklyn, NY 11215

Medical librarian Megan Rosenbloom, medical librarian at the University of Southern California, takes you on an exploration of the Victorian obsession with premature burial based on books from the era, and how those lurid books inspired fiction works by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe. Megan will delve into some of the purported tales of live burial, the entrepreneurs who made safety coffins, the societies formed to protect against this primal fear, and the ways this fear trickles down into our modern culture.

Megan Rosenbloom is a medical librarian at the University of Southern California, where she manages the medical rare book collection. Megan is the director of Death Salon, an event that brings together intellectuals, artists, and death professionals to share their work in the culture of mortality and mourning. Death Salon 2015 will be held at Morbid Anatomy Museum in October 2015. Megan is currently traveling and doing research for her first book in medical library special collections.

Victorian Cult of the Dead: Mourning Practices, Garden Cemeteries and the Invention of the Murder Celebrity

Illustrated Lecture by Romany Reagan, PhD Candidate, Royal Holloway, University of London
Date:  Monday, June 30

Time: 8:00 PM

Admission: $8

Purchase tickets here

Presented by Morbid Anatomy

*** Offsite at the Morbid Anatomy Museum ( New Location ) : 424A 3rd Ave (Corner of 7th St), Brooklyn, NY 11215

Victorian mourning practices are famous for their lavish beauty: elaborate mourning costumes, plumed horses drawing luxurious funerary carriages, and lush garden cemeteries. These collective practices have been referred to as the ‘Victorian Cult of the Dead,’ but it could be argued that what seems to be an obsession with death has more to do with a lack of visible death practices in our own culture. Through analyzing the works of historians James Stevens Curl, Catherine Arnold and Judith Flanders, this talk will explore the ways in which the Victorians honored their dead through ritual and beauty — and how an intimacy with death coupled with the modern newspaper led to the invention of the murder celebrity.

Romany Reagan is a second year PhD candidate in the department of drama at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her practice explores theories of anachronistic space, grief symbolization and site-based performance through the medium of audio walks in Abney Park Cemetery. Areas of research encompass theater archaeology, heterotopias, liminal spaces, human geography, the uncanny and the Victorian ‘cult of the dead’.