Inner Landscapes – An Interview with Penny Oliver

August 27, 2010 § 6 Comments

"Diverticulosis". Painting by Penny Oliver.

About a year ago I was contacted by Penny Oliver, a reader of this blog who presented herself as a studio artist who concentrated her energies on anatomical and histological paintings. She wrote:

Your line of work is one of the resources that keeps me going!  Without the documentation of surgical procedures and the study of tissues, I would have a hard time doing what I do.

Medical photography as a basis for art! I decided to ask this interesting artist for an interview, and here it is. « Read the rest of this entry »

Morbid Anatomy on Display

July 6, 2010 § 1 Comment

"Venus Endormie". Photo © Joanna Ebenstein

A selection of Joanna Ebenstein’s photos of medical museum artifacts are on display over at the American Medical News website.

Joanna is a graphic designer and photographer who runs the excellent blog Morbid Anatomy, where she explores the meeting of art and medicine.

For more of her work, including photos from several medical museums around the world, check out her online exhibition The Secret Museum and her morbid anatomy collections on Flickr.

Be Quick or Be Dead

January 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

Photo by Øystein Horgmo © All rights reserved.

I’m used to being an annoyance. In my previous job I was working on a project where we should document all kinds of cancer treatment, from biopsies to surgery. We would decide that we needed to make a video of some operation, and then had to go find a surgeon who would agree to take me along. We always found one, but they didn’t always come easy. « Read the rest of this entry »

Exquisite Bodies

September 1, 2009 § Leave a comment

The Wellcome Collection in London is hosting an exhibition of 19th-century anatomical wax models, entitled “Exquisite Bodies” from July 30th to October 18th (photo credit). In Victorian Britain, the demand for cadavers for dissection was very high, but the supply was low. One solution was to make anatomical wax models to teach anatomy. A lot of these models also found their way into museums,  teaching the public about reproduction and contagious diseases.

There’s a lot to explore on the exhibition’s website: image galleries with some of the most prominent items, an interactive anatomical Venus and videos on these Victorian wax wenches.

Also check out the Guardian’s image gallery and an audio slideshow from BBC News.

Anatomy Detective

March 6, 2009 § 4 Comments

Anatomy Detective

The pebbed glass door panel is lettered in flaked black paint: “Øystein Horgmo…Anatomical Investigations”. It is a reasonably shabby door at the end of a shabby corridor in the sort of building that was new about the year all-tile bathroom became the basis of civilization. The door is locked, but next to it is another door with the same legend which is not locked. Come on in – there’s nobody in here but me and a few volumes of Sobotta and Gray’s. « Read the rest of this entry »

De Lego Corporis Fabrica

February 3, 2009 § 1 Comment

Lego Mini Fig Anatomy by Jason Freeny

Lego Mini Fig Anatomy by Jason Freeny ©. Click for larger image.

This is the coolest piece of art I’ve seen in a long time! The Lego anatomy schematic is one of several brilliant anatomy designs by New York artist Jason Freeny. Details of the schematic can be viewed on his blog. High quality prints can be ordered here. I know I will!

Inner sights

December 2, 2008 § 11 Comments


A surgeon wielding a big tool (Endo GIA) on Grey's Anatomy. Note the bloody glove.

When you enter an operating room for the first time, you’re probably a bit worried about how you’re going to react to the visual impressions.The only reference most of us have is television. If it’s hospital drama or news footage, the surgery is always only hinted at. They show surgery without actually showing surgery. We get to see some bloody, gloved hands and some skin. The rest is left to Mr. Imagination, and as we know, he needs a reality check. « Read the rest of this entry »


April 21, 2008 § 1 Comment

Many people find interest in surgery to be incomprehensible and even a bit bizarre, referring to the diseases and inevitable memento mori the subject implies.

Lately I’ve been asking myself the question: Would I be as interested in surgery and anatomy if I wasn’t so detached from these implications myself? « Read the rest of this entry »

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