Museum Lust

bioephemera

Category archives for Museum Lust

Poem of the Week: Debora Greger

Under glass, a bare forest of pins held down an army of insects in ragged rows. . . –“The Expression of Emotion in Man and Insects,” by Debora Greger (read the full poem at the Atlantic)

Miniature Fantasies: Paolo Ventura

L’Automaton #06, 2010 Paolo Ventura (zoom view available here) Artist-photographer Paolo Ventura constructs and photographs miniature, dreamlike scenes. His Winter Stories represent the reminisces of an old circus performer. Above, a scene from the Automaton series captures a mysterious, half-built android. Who is the android’s creator? When and where is this happening? Ventura’s work is…

Perry’s Arcana

From 1810-11, architect and amateur naturalist George Perry published The Arcana, a lavishly illustrated, serial natural history magazine. Although Perry intended for the serial issues to be assembled by his subscribers into a book, only thirteen complete copies are known to survive today. More than a third of the known copies are in Australia –…

From the Smithsonian, a short video about using technology to virtually reassemble ancient art from fragments long carried away and dispersed: Majestic sixth-century Chinese Buddhist sculpture is combined with 3-D imaging technology in this exploration of one of the most important groups of Buddhist devotional sites in early medieval China. Carved into the mountains of…

. . . they could have. Or pretty darn close, at least – they just needed to visit one of the many European cabinets of anatomical curiosities, to see the work of anatomists like Honore Fragonard. Fragonard’s eighteenth-century ecorches were the clear precursors to Gunther von Hagens’ “Body Worlds” exhibits: preserved, injected, partially dissected bodies…

A confluence of influences

minouette of magpie & whiskeyjack has posted an interesting meditation on the resemblances between Katie Scott‘s whimsical faux-botanical/biological atlas pages (above), the illustrations of Ernst Haeckel (whose portrait minouette just finished), and the Codex Seraphinianous. It’s a harmonious grouping of artistic influences – check it out.

Animated Anatomies, a new show at the Perkins Library at Duke University, explores the tradition of fold-out or pop-up paper anatomical diagrams: Animated Anatomies explores the visually stunning and technically complex genre of printed texts and illustrations known as anatomical flap books. These publications invite the viewer to participate in virtual autopsies, through the process…

Alienation often accounts for a macabre sense of the marvellous. At the entrance to “Savage Beauty,” there is an evening gown conjured entirely from razor-clam shells. Antelope horns sprout from the shoulders of a pony-skin jacket, and vulture skulls serve as epaulettes on a leather dress. There are angel wings made out of balsa wood,…

Postmortem sleeping beauties

Through the end of May, UMBC’s Albin O Kuhn gallery is hosting a large exhibition of postmortem daguerreotypes, death masks, coffin plates, etc. from the collection of Dr. Stanley Burns. Medical ephemera always have an emotional valence, because they represent patients who suffered, struggled and eventually lost their physical battles. But this collection of memorials…

Earth Spirit, 2010 Enrique Gomez de Molina Reader Laura alerted me to this iO9 post I missed on taxidermy artist Enrique Gomez de Molina, whose work would be written off as bad Photoshopping – except it’s real sculpture. The artist says, The impossibility of my creatures brings me both joy and sadness at the same…