William Hunter (1718–1783) emphasized the firsthand observation of nature, an approach that revolutionized the teaching of anatomy to artists and future medical practitioners alike, while informing the research for his monumental atlas, The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus (1774). Hunter’s research and surviving collections reveal the hidden and unseen through extraordinary and sometimes controversial means. This event will broadly explore the theme of “revealing the invisible” in science, medicine, art, and society from Hunter’s day to the present.
Margaret Carlyle is postdoctoral fellow at the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge, University of Chicago. Stemming from her research on the cultural history of Enlightenment anatomy, Carlyle is interested in the enterprising efforts of women and other “invisible assistants” in forging scientific careers, both outside and within institutional settings.
John Harley Warner is Avalon Professor of the History of Medicine, and Chair, Section of the History of Medicine, at Yale University. Warner is currently investigating the unusual phenomenon of group photographs taken in American anatomy laboratories in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, reflecting on what these images reveal, or in some cases conceal, about social relationships, identity, narrative, and aesthetics in the establishment of modern medical science.
Following presentations by Carlyle and Warner, a panel discussion will be moderated by Nathan Flis, the Center’s organizing curator of William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum.