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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

scandinavia, part II

if you know me personally, or have followed my blog or artwork, you will know that i am really attracted to vintage medical and science junk.  i was actually a biology major until my junior year of college, until i switched to art.  (i was thinking about being a medical illustrator for a while until i realized i couldn't sit still for that long.)  anyway, one of my favorite books as a high school student was gray's anatomy.  i spent hours and hours pouring over that thick book, looking at the plates of veins, muscles, arteries, and other components that make up humans.  

when john found out there was a medical museum (medicinsk museion) in copenhagen, i was overjoyed.  i knew that it was a must stop location on our trip.  the museum is located near the royal palace, in an amazing old building with not much signage, and two unassuming front doors under a pillared porch.  it turns out that the museum is housed in the former Academy of Surgery, which educated surgeons in Copenhagen between 1785-1842.  One of the spaces in the building is the auditorium in which dissections were carried out as part of the course of training!

dome in the auditorium

the exhibits were wonderful, as was the interior of the building.  one could walk the unfinished wide-planked pine floors and imagine surgery students long ago treading on that same surface.  inside were amazing things, including a vintage pharmacy reinstalled in the space.  there was a room with vintage prosthetics, and one with wax models of face disfigurements.  everything was so amazing!!

we read that during the time of the Academy, surgeons were not doctors.  they actually began as butchers!  at that time in history it was believed that knife skills were more important than medical training.  who knew??

vintage anatomical model

vintage anatomical chart

another model

and one more chart!

my only regret is that i don't have more photographs.  i think i was so taken with the stuff in that building that i forgot that i had a camera.  oh, what i would do for a couple of shots of those prosthetic legs, hands, and arms!!



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