Date of Award
Art and Design
Maria P. Gindhart
During the nineteenth century, museums dedicated to the collection, preservation, and display of human anatomy became familiar institutions in America and Europe. The anatomical museum operated under one of two guises: popular museums run as commercial establishments, or medical museums attached to a professional medical society or college. Over the course of the century, the medical establishment sought to cement its authority over anatomy by legitimating its expertise through specialized training. Doctors criticized commercial anatomical museums, which were eventually closed under accusations of obscenity, yet there was considerable overlap in the types of objects on display at both museums. This paper examines how the medical museum was permitted to supersede its commercial cousin and explores the exhibitionary narratives at the sites of both types of institutions.
Wolf, Stephanie Alana, "Narratives of Anatomy: Arranging Identity and Regulating Visibility in the Nineteenth Century Anatomical Museum" (2010). Undergraduate Honors Theses. Paper 3.