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Exposing the Cadaver: Dissection Photography, Abjection, and the Identity of the American Medical Student 1876—1926

March 10, 2017
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
URMC, K-207 (2-6408)

Brandon Zimmerman
University of Rochester and George Eastman Museum
Graduate Student, Photographic Preservation and Collections Management

Medical Humanities Noon Conference

Beginning in earnest in the mid–1880s, and continuing until roughly the early 1940s, there existed within the medical profession a widespread tradition whereby medical students posed for photographic portraits with their dissected cadavers as a means to commemorate their participation in anatomical dissection.

This heavily illustrated presentation will survey the cultural history of the phenomenon of dissection photography, as well as the various ways the genre matured and transformed with each decade’s photographic advances, from static formalized group portraiture, to intimate, expressive, and candid snapshots.

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