Picturing the Body: Medical Art as Teaching Tools

One of the problems experienced by medical educators in centuries past is the lack of anatomical specimens for teaching students.  To remedy this situation, an artist was commonly employed to capture anatomical details revealed in dissections and to reproduce them as highly realistic drawings and models in such materials as wax, ivory, ceramic, wood, and papier-mâché.  In the 1800s, medical art shifted more to pathology than general anatomy. Later in the twentieth century, medical models became more stylized and plastic replaced traditional materials.

Drawn from the collections of the Museum of Health Care at Kingston, this exhibit presented several examples of such didactic works produced between 1850 and 1970.  It was produced in partnership with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and displayed in the organisation's Ottawa headquarters (2010).