Issue: Spring 2015

The Anatomy of a Display


In conjunction with the Saint Louis University and Washington University in Saint Louis co­sponsored conference “Vesalius and the Invention of the Modern Body,” the Medical Center Library was asked to plan a small display titled "Ars Anatomica: A Medical Fantasia by Leonard Baskin."

Debra Cashion, Associate Director of the Center for Digital Humanities at Pius Library, kindly loaned the Medical Center Library thirteen prints for the display. Six of these prints were hung from our newly installed wall­track system, becoming the focal point of the display. In addition to the prints, we were able to show off two oversized anatomy books from our rare books collection. Both books are in fair to poor condition, but placed safely behind glass, they are far more valuable as educational tools than sitting on a shelf in storage.

The result is a visually pleasing look at how anatomy can be depicted and presented for different audiences. The human body is art, whether it is depicted to educate, entertain, or just to make us ponder our own existence. Our patrons spend large portions of their day looking at human anatomy, and we hope these prints helped them appreciate the human form anew.

Now that we have done the heavy lifting of installing a wall­track system and arranging cases, we plan to create more displays illuminating the history of the many Saint Louis University health sciences departments and the history of medicine in general. We are also planning on using the area to highlight posters and research from the Medical Center’s faculty and students.

Contact the Author

Kate Bax, M.A.
Library Assistant, Medical Center Library

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