The title of this exhibition is taken from Andreas Vesalius' consummate work on human anatomy first published in 1543, De humani corporis fabrica. Representing the major themes of this exhibit, Vesalius' work seeks to blend scientific accuracy with high aesthetic standards. This adaptation of well-established artistic traditions to the requirements of a new science occasionally resulted in an uneasy combination in which the creative impulses of the illustrator competed with less subjective interests of the anatomist-scientist. This tension presents a striking array of images that blur the boundaries of art and science. The Human Fabric follows the development of anatomical illustration in print from its beginning as a primitive record of early explorations in gross anatomy in the late fifteenth century to the highly refined studies published just prior to the advent of photography. The books in this exhibition are drawn chiefly from the collection of Dr. Mortimer Frank (1847-1919), a Chicago Physician and Hyde Park resident.
The Human Fabric
Jan. 1, 1981
Dec. 1, 1981
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center