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Stiffs, Skulls & Skeletons: Medical Photography and Symbolism, Illustrated Lecture & Book Signing by Stanley B. Burns, MD & Elizabeth A. Burns
Morbid Anatomy Museum
Brooklyn, NY
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Stiffs, Skulls & Skeletons: Medical Photography and Symbolism, Illustrated Lecture & Book Signing by Stanley B. Burns, MD & Elizabeth A. Burns
Date: Thursday, March 31rst
Time: 7pm
Admission: $8
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn NY

Stanley B. Burns, MD & Elizabeth A. Burns of The Burns Archive will present a lecture and book signing of their latest publication Stiffs, Skulls & Skeletons: Medical Photography and Symbolism.

Stiffs, Skulls & Skeletons: Medical Photography and Symbolism is a comprehensive and intriguing exploration of the skeleton and dead body. This work reveals the nineteenth-century fascination with the dead body and body parts.

The skull is the most significant and time-honored prop for self-validation in a profession. The physician, the actor, the scientist, the explorer, the holy man, and the warrior all pose with skulls to convey accomplishment and status. In these images, the attitude of those posing with body parts changes over time, as each generation acquired new knowledge and approached the sanctity of the body with new cultural considerations. These photographs provide clear evidence of how our society has changed. Many cultural phenomena disappear from collective memory, as changing cultural taboos dictate the past be hidden. But, they are also beautiful examples of the art of photography and its ability to portray unpleasant subject matter artistically.

The classic visual iconography of postmortem, dissection, and bone photography is presented and expanded to include early autopsy images and X-ray studies. No prior visual work has presented the once very popular hobby of collecting skulls, and also their use in racial and psychological profiling research. With previously unpublished photographs, this sumptuously illustrated book is an extraordinary work of medical, historical and cultural research. It is a timeless visual essay that will surely become a standard resource for collectors, curators, artists, and scholars. This large 12 x 12 tome includes more than 450 rare photographs.

Stanley B. Burns, MD, has studied, collected and written on medical photography for over four decades focusing on unexplored areas, with his books placing him in the forefront of medical photographic history scholarship.


Morbid Anatomy Museum (View)
424 A Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
United States




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