Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dissection at Harvard

Just last night, April 7, John Warner and I gave a book talk at the Center for the History of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The topic: our book, Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage of American Medicine, 1880-1930. The event: opening of an exhibition of images featured in our book, on display at the Countway Library (5th floor) through June. We are greatful to Center Director Scott Podolsky for making this happen.

I traveled from Cleveland to Boston on Monday night, to get a fresh start on Tuesday hanging the show with Dominic Hall, curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum, which is today part of the Center for the History of Medicine. I brought the images, digital prints mounted with labels, and Dominic and I, ably assisted by his intern Alicia Guillama (from Harvard University Extension School’s Graduate Program in Museum Studies), spent Tuesday hanging the show. With everyone pitching in, we got the show up and running by the end of the day, with a few dangling details to be sorted the next morning.

Dominic Hall

Alicia Guillama

Dominic and Alicia

Having taken care of business on the first day, I was free to head over to see Sara Schechner, the David P. Wheatland Curator of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments over in Cambridge on Wendesday. More on that fascinating visit in a coming post…

By mid-afternoon, I headed back to the Countway and rendezvouz-ed with John Warner, who arrived around 4:30, in anticipation of our talk at 6:00, followed by a book signing and reception. We had about 50 persons in attendance (not bad for one of the warmest and sunniest days seen in Boston this Spring). Had a very sympathetic and attentive audience, and a lively question and answer period following our presentation. We then all adjourned for attendees to see the show.

Now back in Cleveland for a quick turnaround, I am off to Cincinnati tomorrow for the Saturday meeting of the Ohio Academy of Medical History. We’re taking off early so we can bake a beeline for the Creation Museum across the border in Kentucky. Can’t wait! Will be reporting our experience here shortly…

Jim Edmonson

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