Mutter Museum: Of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Mutter Museum: Of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

by Gretchen Worden
     
 

The aesthetics of the living body have long fascinated artists working in every medium of art. M tter Museum presents the work of a distinguished group of photographers who have been drawn to explore the body stripped of its superficial coverings down to its inner realities. There is real beauty beneath the surface both in life, as revealed by the surgeon's scalpel

Overview

The aesthetics of the living body have long fascinated artists working in every medium of art. M tter Museum presents the work of a distinguished group of photographers who have been drawn to explore the body stripped of its superficial coverings down to its inner realities. There is real beauty beneath the surface both in life, as revealed by the surgeon's scalpel, and in death, as revealed by the pathologist's or anatomist's knife. The contemporary photographs in this book, combined with powerful images from the Museum's historical photography collection, stretch the boundaries to find beauty not in its conventional form, but in its opposite: the deformed, the broken, the disfigured body of those who suffered physical abnormality, trauma, or destructive disease. There is a terrifying beauty as well in the spirits of those who endured nature's challenges to human life and to medical understanding.

Editorial Reviews

Newsweek
Superb...Mutter Museum teaches you indelibly how strange life can be, how unpredictable and various. The [photographs], sometimes ghastly, sometimes heartbreaking, are mysteriously mesmerizing [and] will revise and enlarge your idea of what it is to be human.
New Yorker
The images have an almost classical quality...gorgeous and repulsive at once.
Library Journal
Focusing attention on the premier medical museum that she has directed since 1988, Worden makes a noteworthy attempt to promote the Philadelphia-area attraction to wider audiences. Featuring over 100 captioned, mostly black-and-white photographs by 17 well-known artists-such as Rosamond Purcell, Harvey Stein, and Joel-Peter Witkin-this work also includes an introduction and a 12-page appendix pertaining to some of the collections, medical curiosities, specimens, and media showcased here. While many of the photographs appeared previously in annual calendars, some are newly published. The images, of a uniformly high quality, often turn the grotesque into the beautiful. However, the text is less consistent; Worden might have divided the appendix into several essays of greater length, more detailed analysis, and broader coverage of contemporary issues. Another incongruous and indiscriminate aspect is the use of medical jargon throughout the book. Still, the rare reproductions and image quality recommend this for academic libraries.-Cheryl Ann Lajos, Free Lib. of Philadelphia

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780922233243
Publisher:
Blast Books
Publication date:
10/28/2002
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 11.24(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are saying about this

Sherwin B. Nuland
This is a book of hauntingly beautiful images. Only magnificent photographs like these can do justice to the uniqueness of the Mutter Museum, a place of wonder and an unparalleled collection that startles the imagination while it widens a visitor's sense of our shared humanity.
— author of How We Die

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