By Erin Thibeau (CAS’13)
A fascinating new exhibition on campus explores the myriad ways anatomy has influenced both art and medicine in America from the mid 18th century to today. Titled Teaching the Body: Artistic Anatomy in the American Academy, from Copley, Rimmer, and Eakins to Contemporary Artists, the show includes more than 80 paintings, anatomy charts, photographs, rare books, drawings, casts, photographs, sculptures, and reproductions that reveal how artists have been influenced by the human anatomy. The show is on view at the Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery through March 31.
Curated by Naomi Slipp (GRS’15), BU’s Jan and Warren Adelson Fellow in American Art, the exhibition includes works by notable American artists John Singleton Copley, Thomas Eakins, Paul Revere, and Kiki Smith and draws largely on local collections. Teaching the Body focuses on “the study of artistic anatomy within Boston itself,” says Slipp, and allows the gallery to “use collections within the city that really hadn’t been seen and exhibit works, some of which hadn’t been looked at since the 19th century.”
Working with BUAG director Kate McNamara, Slipp approached numerous institutions—among them the Harvard Medical Library, Mass General Hospital, and the Museum of Fine Arts—as well as private collections and local artists, requesting to borrow work for the exhibition. Visitors to the Stone Gallery are treated to a history of anatomy in America.
Drawing on sources from paintings to medical journals, Teaching the Body is of special interest to not only art and art history students, but to medical students as well. The exhibition includes informative texts that elucidate the history of anatomical illustration and offers numerous illustrations used in medical textbooks and charts. Eerily lifelike and lovely are pieces like Cast of the Hand of Harvey Cushing (1922), an unattributed bronze cast of a hand delicately extended from a cadaver. In Oscar Wallis’ painting The Neck, the artist exposes the inner mechanisms of a dead man’s throat, vividly depicting veins and arteries. One of the show’s most striking works is Lisa Nilsson’s delicate, golden Angelico (2012), a mulberry paper sculptural design of the inner brain.
Read the complete article on BU Today
Teaching the Body: Artistic Anatomy in the American Academy from Copley, Rimmer, and Eakins to Contemporary Artists
BUAG Exhibition explores the intersection between art and medicine — January 31 – March 31, 2013
Boston, MA – Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery (BUAG) is proud to present Teaching the Body: Artistic Anatomy in the American Academy, an exhibition curated by Boston University PhD candidate Naomi Slipp, the Jan and Warren Adelson Fellow in American Art.
Teaching the Body: Artistic Anatomy in the American Academy
Friday, February 1 – Thursday, March 28, 2013
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 31, 6–8pm
Media Only Press Preview: Thursday, January 31, 4–5pm (RSVP: 617.353.3349 / email@example.com)
Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery (855 Commonwealth Ave)
Exhibition and Gallery Events are Free and Open to the Public
Teaching the Body engages with the study of the antique cast, the nude model, and artistic anatomy within the American Academy. Utilizing under represented local collections as well as textual sources, sculpture, photography, and academic preparatory studies, this exhibition gives the visitor a sense of the value of anatomy to the practicing American artist in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, from 1756 to today.
“Artistic anatomy is an important and often overlooked part of the education and working method of an artist,” says Naomi Slipp, curator. “It enables the artist to engage with the interior complexities of the human form, often allowing for a deeper understanding of the correspondences between motion and muscle, flesh and bone, exterior and interior…”
Teaching the Body explores the intersection between art and medicine, tracing the history of anatomy in America as it plays vital roles in both fields. Works by John Singleton Copley, Frank Duveneck, Thomas Eakins, Hiriam Powers, Samuel Morse, Paul Revere, and Kiki Smith pair with anatomy charts, body casts, and scientific notes in a collection of over eighty objects, many never before exhibited.
In addition, Teaching the Body has planned a dynamic and ambitious schedule of events to explore the mysteries of the human body and the myriad ways that American artists have represented the terrain of the body for over 250 years.
Teaching the Body: Artistic Anatomy in the American Academy
Schedule of Events
Thursday, February 7, 4–5pm
Guided Tour with Naomi Slipp, Curator
Tuesday, February 12, 6–8pm
Seeing the Unseen: An Evening Conversation with Artists, Anatomists, and Instructors
With Douglass Starr, Edward Stitt, Lisa Nilsson, and Ann Zumwalt
Sponsored by the Boston University of the History of Art & Architecture
Thursday, February 21, 6–8pm
Flattening the Body: Art, Anatomy, and Print Culture in the Dutch Golden Age
Daniel Margócsy, Assistant Professor of Early Modern History, Hunter College
Tuesday, March 5, 6–8pm
Teaching the Body Lecture: Dr. Elliot Bostwick Davis and John Moors Cabot,
Chair of the Art of the Americas Department, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Sponsored by the Boston University Department of History of Art & Architecture
Tuesday, March 21, 6–8pm
The Apotheosis of Dissected Plate, or Spectacles of Layering and Transparency in 19th- and 20th-Century Anatomy
Dr. Michael Sappol, Historian, National Library of Medicine
Tuesday, March 26, 4–5pm
Guided Tour with Naomi Slipp, Curator
Friday, March 29, 6–8pm
Film Screening in Celebration of Hyman Bloom’s One Hundredth Birthday
Hyman Bloom: The Beauty of All Things, directed by Angélica Brisk
A catalog will accompany Teaching the Body, complete with color plates, a forward by Patricia Hills, Boston University Professor of Art History, and essays by Naomi Slipp, David Dearinger, the Susan Morse Hilles Curator of Paintings and Sculpture and Head of the Art Department at Boston Athenaeum.
Please visit bu.edu/art for the most updated event details.
About Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery (BUAG)
Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery is located at 855 Commonwealth Avenue, inside the College of Fine Arts. The gallery is located on the Boston University campus (BU West T stop on the “B” Green Line). Gallery hours are Tuesday–Friday from 10am–5pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1–5pm (closed Mondays and holidays). For more information, visit bu.edu/art.
Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery Presents Vlatka Horvat’s “Also Called: Backbone, Anchor, Lifeline”
Boston, MA –
The Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery (BUAG) is proud to present Vlatka Horvat’s new site-specific installation, Also Called: Backbone, Anchor, Lifeline.
Vlatka Horvat’s Also Called: Backbone, Anchor, Lifeline
Friday, November 9th – Thursday, December 20th, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 8th, 6 – 8 PM
A conversation between Vlatka Horvat and Dr. Nuit Banai, Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at
Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Date and Time: Monday, November 19th, 6:30 PM
Location: College of Fine Arts, Room 500
Exhibition and gallery events are free and open to the public
The installation takes its cue from the architecture of the gallery’s Art Deco railings, knobs, faux detailing, and decoration, as well as materials found near the Boston University campus and surrounding areas. A composition of assembled and constructed objects comprised of scaffold planks, cinderblocks, packing foam, and other reclaimed materials populate the gallery, creating a network of passages, barriers and spatial configurations.
“These industrial-looking assemblages solicit the viewer’s attention,” says Kate McNamara, Director and Chief Curator of Boston University Art Gallery. “Offering precarious articulations of function or lack thereof, they suggest both a velocity and a heaviness in movement and interaction. However, in many cases, their ability to operate only goes so far.”
Horvat challenges notions of stability and expectation through a visual systematic inquiry of the fallibility and possibility of associated behavior. Along the walls and throughout the pathways are locally sourced and found objects, whose weight is felt in their distressed and castoff appearance, as well as placement.
A reoccurring theme in Horvat’s work is the relationship between the human body and the constructed environment. Questions concerning how a body occupies and navigates space within Horvat’s work are suggestive of her background and training in performance. Her practice often engages site-specificity, performance, installation, photography, and collage.
Lexicon of Spatial Dysfunction
In conjunction with the exhibition, the BUAG will publish a Lexicon of Spatial Dysfunction. The Lexicon will, as the artist herself explains, consist of “terms and images exploring dysfunction spatial relations between objects, bodies, structures, surfaces.” Horvat solicited a community of artists for images, texts, and drawings related to the theme of spatial dysfunction. Interspersed between these contributions, Horvat will include a spread drawn for her notes on special relations and her reactions to work received by other artists. The artist plans future volumes of the Lexicon to accompany other projects.
About Vlatka Horvat
Born in 1974 in Croatia, Vlatka Horvat lives and works in London, UK. She received her BA in theater from Columbia College in Chicago, IL, in 1996, and her MA in performance in 1997 from Northwestern University. She has a PhD from Roehampton University in London, UK (received in 2009.) Her recent grants and awards include the Rema Hor Mann foundation visual art grant award, New York, NY, in 2010, and the Residence at Outpost for Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, in 2008.
The Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery is located at 855 Commonwealth Avenue, inside the College of Fine Arts. The gallery is located on the Boston University campus (BU West T stop on the “B” Green Line.) Gallery hours are Tuesday–Friday from 11 AM – 5 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 1 PM – 5 PM, (closed Mondays and holidays). For more information, visit bu.edu/art.
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission. The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.
To request interviews, high resolution photos, or additional information, please contact either:
Brooke MacKinnon at 617.353.3349 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurel Homer at 617.353.8783 or email@example.com