Chapter

Displaying Pathology

Samuel J. M. M. Alberti

in Morbid Curiosities

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199584581
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725159 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584581.003.0005
Displaying Pathology

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Chapter 5 investigates how specimens were deployed in displays, how the specimens were re-assembled, how morbid anatomists arranged them in cases and on shelves. We find that they were re-integrated to form a physical map of disease—no longer an individual person but a dividual body. Or rather, bodies: the healthy body contrasted with the different ways in which parts of it became diseased; the human body compared to the animals (most collections included an element of comparative anatomy); and the corroding, discoloured,organic body in the shadow of the ideal perfection of the wax model or clinical illustration. Paper, wax, and text formed a series of overlapping, intermedial systems that buttressed the organic morbid body.

Keywords: dividuality; intermediality; atlases; models; wax; clinical photography; medical illustration; catalogues; labels; museum display; Guy's Hospital Museum

Chapter.  14687 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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