Enfilade

Call for Papers | Artistic Practice and the Medical Museum, 1600–2014

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 23, 2013

bannermedicalmuseum1

Image credits available at the conference website.

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Collect, Exchange, Display: Artistic Practice and the Medical Museum
MacRae Gallery, Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, 6 June 2014

Proposals due by 15 January 2014

For hundreds of years, medical collections have been sites of medical and artistic exchange. Not only were many of their contents created by artists and physicians, but the collections were also often compiled by doctors, who were themselves artistes manqués. Although medical museums have recently received attention in museological and historical studies, they remain relatively ignored within art historical scholarship.

This one-day conference will look at the anatomical, pathological or medical museum from the perspectives of art history and visual culture. Artists have utilised these spaces for the study of anatomy and pathology—as well as for ideas and inspiration—but what do we know about the artists, photographers and craftsmen and women who have
worked within the museum? How can we theorise the collecting practices of the doctors who founded and/or ran these museums? What influence did these spaces and their contents have on artistic practice, visual representation and the writing of art and medical histories? How does the medical museum continue to play a role in contemporary art-making and medical learning? From the wax modelers to the commissioning physicians to the painters and sculptors who were inspired by its contents, this conference will spark a dialogue about the artistry of the medical museum. We encourage papers on all visual aspects of the medical museum in any country from the seventeenth century to the present, and welcome papers from artists, curators and scholars from any discipline, as well as medical professionals. We anticipate publishing a selection of papers from the conference in an edited anthology.

Paper Proposals are due by 15 January 2014. Please send a 250-word abstract, along with a short CV (no more than two pages), to the conference organisers:
• Dr Natasha Ruiz-Gómez, Lecturer in Art History in the School of Philosophy and Art History at the University of Essex, natashar@essex.ac.uk
• Dr Mary Hunter, Assistant Professor of Art History in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University, Mary.Hunter2@mcgill.ca

This conference has been generously funded by the Wellcome Trust.

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