Morbid Curiosities: Medical Museums in Nineteenth-Century Britain

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9780199584581: Morbid Curiosities: Medical Museums in Nineteenth-Century Britain
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Morbid Curiosities is the first comprehensive study of nineteenth-century medical museums in Britain. It traces the afterlives of diseased body parts, asking how they came to be in these collections, what happened to them there, and who used them.

Pathologists dismembered the dead body and preserved it, whether by injection or by storage in fluid, thereby transforming it into material culture. Thus fragmented body parts followed complex paths - harvested from hospital wards, given to a prestigious institution, or once again fragmented at auction. Human remains acquired new meanings as they were exchanged and, once in museums, specimens were re-integrated to form a physical map of disease. Curators juxtaposed organic specimens with paintings, photographs, and models, and rendered them legible with extensive catalogues - paper, wax, and text formed a series of overlapping systems. They were intended to standardize the educational experience that was the ostensible purpose of most of the museums, and yet visitors refused to be policed, responding powerfully, whether with wonder or disgust.

Morbid Curiosities is a history of the material culture of medical knowledge, from prepared human remains to models, illustrations, and even architectural pillars and galleries.

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Samuel J.M.M. Alberti previously he held a joint position at the University of Manchester, where he was a researcher at the Manchester Museum and a lecturer at the Centre for Museology. He is author of Nature and Culture: Objects, Disciplines and the Manchester Museum and editor of The Afterlives of Animals: A Museum Menagerie.

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"As both a museum professional and a historian, Samuel J. M. M. Alberti is excellently placed to write Morbid Curiosities, a well-researched and engaging contribution to this growing field centered on nineteenth-century medical museums in Britain...Morbid Curiosities provides new insights into the material culture of medical knowledge through its primary focus on human body parts as specimens and artifacts...[T]his study provides a valuable contribution into what deserves to be a fruitful avenue of future research into the material culture of medical knowledge."--The Historian


"This highly readable work about a seemingly niche topic provides historical context for contemporary debates about cultural phenomena as it clarifies how the various meanings attached to human remains in the medical marketplace are always culturally contingent."--Canadian Bulletin of Medical History


"Samuel J.M.M. Alberti's informative and meticulously referenced book takes the reader on a comprehensive tou of the world of the nineteenth-century medical museum...an excellent and wide-ranging treatment of the subject."--Victorian Studies


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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2011. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. 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. Seller Inventory # APC9780199584581

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2011. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.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. Seller Inventory # APC9780199584581

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Book Description Oxford University Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 240 pages. Dimensions: 8.6in. x 5.8in. x 0.9in.Morbid Curiosities is the first comprehensive study of nineteenth-century medical museums in Britain. It traces the afterlives of diseased body parts, asking how they came to be in these collections, what happened to them there, and who used them. Pathologists dismembered the dead body and preserved it, whether by injection or by storage in fluid, thereby transforming it into material culture. Thus fragmented body parts followed complex paths - harvested from hospital wards, given to a prestigious institution, or once again fragmented at auction. Human remains acquired new meanings as they were exchanged and, once in museums, specimens were re-integrated to form a physical map of disease. Curators juxtaposed organic specimens with paintings, photographs, and models, and rendered them legible with extensive catalogues - paper, wax, and text formed a series of overlapping systems. They were intended to standardize the educational experience that was the ostensible purpose of most of the museums, and yet visitors refused to be policed, responding powerfully, whether with wonder or disgust. Morbid Curiosities is a history of the material culture of medical knowledge, from prepared human remains to models, illustrations, and even architectural pillars and galleries. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Seller Inventory # 9780199584581

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