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The New York Academy of Medicine | Malloch Circle Lecture and Reception

You are cordially invited to a lecture hosted by the Malloch Circle, a special group of friends who are interested in the history of medicine and support the historical programs at NYAM. This is an exclusive introduction into the Malloch Circle. Members contribute $1,000 annually, and are invited to dinner events featuring presentations of historical and bibliographic interest, exhibitions of relevant notable rare books, and private behind the scenes tours of the Rare Book Room.

“The Beauty of Anatomy: The Art of Teaching Surgery in Early Nineteenth-Century London”


Carin Berkowitz, PhD

Associate Director, Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry, Chemical Heritage Foundation

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lecture and Cocktail Reception, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street

You are encouraged to bring potential members

$50 Per Person

For information on the event and the Malloch Circle,
contact Peggy Yuen at (212) 822-7209

Register Here

About the Lecture

The early nineteenth-century artist, anatomist, surgeon and teacher Sir Charles Bell saw anatomy and art as closely related. Bell, after whom Bell’s palsy is named, and who is best known for his extensive work in neuroanatomy and physiology, taught anatomy to artists as well as surgeons at the Great Windmill Street School of Anatomy, founded by John and William Hunter in the mid-eighteenth century. A talented artist, he illustrated all of his anatomical texts and wrote a treatise on the use of anatomy in depicting the human form in painting. To Bell, the relationship between art and anatomy/surgery was multifaceted. In an era in which bodies for dissection were scarce, drawings, models and preserved specimens provided important teaching tools. Creating anatomical models and drawings was thought to discipline the surgeon’s hand, while the study of anatomy and comparative anatomy would discipline the artist’s eye. But Bell’s belief in an ordered universe and deliberate design by the Creator, and his ideas about teaching and learning, allowed for another relationship between art and anatomy in addition to the one found in manual skill. Bell believed the anatomist and the artist pursued similar kinds of beauty, characterized by simplicity, readability and elegance. That which was true in anatomy was simple and beautiful, and that which was beautiful in anatomical drawings could be taught and learned.

About the Speaker

Carin Berkowitz has published and lectured extensively on the intersection of science, medicine and art in the nineteenth century, a time when museums and other institutions of instruction were joining anatomical understanding to surgeons and surgical technique as well as to art and artists in new and vigorous ways. She has received the Shryock Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine, the Luigi Einaudi Fellowship for Graduate Research in Europe and has been a History of Medicine Research Fellow at the Wood Institute of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. She was awarded a BA with honors from the Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and a PhD in science and technology studies from Cornell University in 2010. The title of her dissertation was “Medical Science as Pedagogy in Early Nineteenth-Century Britain: Charles Bell and the Politics of London Medical Reform.” She is Associate Director of the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia.

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