Eye of the Artist: The Impact of disease on the formation of Art

2Wednesday, October 14th,  Anton and Rose Zverina Lecture by Jonathan Lass, M.D., “The Eye of the Artist.”

Art. Science. Disease. Medicine. The combination can result in startling and beautiful revelations. We welcome you to join us at the museum for a free public lecture, followed by a reception, on the “Eye of the Artist.”

Have an interest in art? Spent hours contemplating impressionist paintings and wondering about the world as the artist saw it? Or perhaps you have an interest in medicine or medical humanities, and you want to know more about intersections between art and practice. Join us to hear Dr. Lass, the Charles I Thomas Professor, and formerly chair, in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and Medical Director of the Cleveland Eye Bank. He will explore the impact of various eye diseases upon famous artists, the impact of these conditions1 on their style and productivity, and the changing the history of art itself. The artists to be discussed by Dr. Lass will include Pissaro, Monet, Degas, and O’Keefe. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder!!

The talk begins at 6:00PM, followed by a reception in the Dittrick Museum gallery. There is no charge, but you must register to get a seat! Please RSVP to Jennifer Nieves at 216/369-3648 or via email at jks4@case.edu

NYAM hosts Vesalius 500: Art and Anatomy

WebThis October, the New York Academy of Medicine will host Art, Anatomy, and the Body: Vesalius 500, Guest curated by artist and anatomist Riva Lehrer

On October 18, the NYAM’s second-annual Festival for Medical History and the Arts, “Art, Anatomy, and the Body: Vesalius 500″ will celebrate the 500th birthday of anatomist Andreas Vesalius. Our own Brandy Schillace, research associate and guest curator for the Dittrick, will be one of the hosted speakers! Click here for the full schedule–and see below for a short description.

Vesalius’ groundbreaking De humani corporis fabrica (The Fabric of the Human Body) of 1543 is a key Renaissance text, one that profoundly changed medical training, anatomical knowledge, and artistic representations of the body, an influence that has persisted over the centuries. The Festival is one of a global series of celebrations of his legacy, and a day-long event will explore the intersection of anatomy and the arts with a vibrant roster of performers and presenters, including Heidi Latsky’s “GIMP” Dance Project; the comics artists of Graphic Medicine; Sander Gilman on posture controlling the unruly body; Alice Dreger on inventing the medical photograph; Bill Hayes on researching hidden histories of medicine; Steven Assael, Ann Fox and Chun-shan (Sandie) Yi on anatomy in contemporary art; Chase Joynt’s Resisterectomy, a meditation on surgery and gender; Brandy Schillace on ambivalent depictions of female anatomy in the 18th century; Lisa Rosner on famous body snatchers Burke and Hare; the art of anatomical atlases with Michael Sappol; medical 3D printing demos by ProofX; anatomical painting directly on skin with Kriota Willberg; Daniel Garrison on translating Vesalius for modern audiences; Jeff Levine and Michael Nevins on revisiting The Fabrica Frontispiece; and many more!

To join this excellent event, register here or visit the NYAM blog!

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 and Ted, and then having several appreciative 20-somethings say “Man, you really nailed it!” — and, I got to go first, so I could enjoy the rest of the evening’s events. What a great load of super creative Clevelanders! Gives one ample hope for the city’s future. And connecting the Dittrick to a younger audience is priceless.

Me at center, with Patty and Ted on my left

About the blogger

James Edmonson is Chief Curator of the Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum of Case Western Reserve University, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of History. Publications include American Surgical Instruments (1997) and Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine, 1880-1930 (Blast Books, 2009).  Dr. Edmonson serves as American liaison to and Secretary General of the European Association of Museums of the History of Medical Sciences. Read more here.