College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

Visual Dissection: the Art of Anatomy

A remarkable exhibit highlighting intricacies of the human lung is a highlight in a new display exploring the aesthetics of anatomy.

'Visual Dissection' exhibition poster

The striking artefact was created by injecting resin into the organ’s air passages and dipping it into acid to corrode the spongey tissue, leaving a cast of the bronchial tree behind.  

The structure is one of more than 40 objects in the Visual Dissection: the Art of Anatomy exhibition at the University’s Main Library, many of which have never been on public display before.

Visual Dissection - The Art of Anatomy

The exhibition is free and open to the public from 4 December 2015 to 5 March 2016, from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.

It takes place in the Exhibition Gallery in the University's Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ

Exhibition information

Remarkable display

The exhibition of human and animal anatomy charts four centuries of medical endeavour.

It includes woodcuts and engravings from the 17th century, Victorian wax and papier mâché models and exhibits that use the digital technologies of today.

Also included in the display is a wax moulding of two hands taken from a patient at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, a cast of the internal anatomy of the human head and a set of models showing the development of a rabbit’s heart.

The world’s largest three dimensional anatomical hologram and a colourful knitted representation of the human circulatory system will also go on show.

Student internship initiative

The exhibition’s curator, Doug Stevens, is a final year Fine Art student at the University.

He was able to work with staff to create the exhibition through the University’s student internship initiative, Employ.ed on Campus.

Art and anatomy are often treated as distinct subjects, yet there is a long history of collaboration between the disciplines. This exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to view these rare objects and appreciate the beauty of their craftsmanship. It was a fascinating and rewarding experience exploring the University’s archives.

Doug StevensExhibition curator and final year student

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Visual Dissection - The Art of Anatomy

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Employ.ed on Campus

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