Morbid Curiosities: Medical Museums in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Hardback)
  • Morbid Curiosities: Medical Museums in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Hardback)
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Morbid Curiosities: Medical Museums in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Hardback)

(author)
£87.00
Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 07/04/2011
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In the first comprehensive study of nineteenth-century medical museums, Morbid Curiosities traces the afterlives of diseased body parts. It asks how they came to be in museums, what happened to them there, and who used them. This book is concerned with the macabre work of pathologists as they dismembered corpses and preserved them: transforming bodies into material culture. The fragmented body parts followed complex paths - harvested from hospital wards, given to one of many prestigious institutions, or dispersed at auction. Human remains acquired new meanings as they were exchanged and were then reintegrated into museums as physical maps of disease. On shelves curators juxtaposed organic remains with paintings, photographs, and models, and rendered them legible with extensive catalogues that were intended to standardize the museum experience. And yet visitors refused to be policed, responding equally with wonder and disgust. Morbid Curiosities is a history of the material culture of medical knowledge in the age of museums.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199584581
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 480 g
Dimensions: 222 x 148 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
absorbing * Christopher Lawrence, Times Literary Supplement *
a welcome and original addition to the scholarship on natural and medical history ... consistently engaging and accessible * Victoria Bates, Archives of Natural History *
an intellectually lively and valuable study that shifts attention away from bodies to those body parts which made up museum collections. * Keir Waddington, British Journal for the History of Science *
so this is a provocative, well researched, and elegantly written book. [Alberti] has reconstructed a persuasive history of the changing contexts of practices, meaning, and function of medical museums. This book nicely crosses disciplinary boundaries and will appeal to museologists, medical historians, anthropologists, art historians, and museum professionals. * Shauna Devine, Bulletin of the History of Medicine *

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