From Cox to Coccyx – 130 Years of Anatomy in Dundee

Tower Foyer Gallery, Tower Building, University of Dundee
Now on until 14th December 
Monday to Friday 9.30am to 7pm and Saturday 1pm to 5pm
 
 
This fascinating new exhibition explores the history of Anatomy in the city. The Chair of Anatomy in Dundee was endowed by Thomas Hunter Cox of the jute family who owned Camperdown Works, and the first Anatomy teaching began here in 1888. This was a key milestone for the new University as it marked the first official step towards the creation of a Medical School in the city, which would eventually be realised in 1897.
 
The fortunes of the Anatomy department have fluctuated since then, and on at least two occasions it was threatened with closure, but today the Centre for Anatomy & Human Identification (CAHID) is internationally recognised for its work in anatomical and forensic science.
 
This exhibition looks at the history of Anatomy at the University, with a particular focus on the eight men and women who have held the Cox Chair over the past 130 years. Included in the exhibition are models, charts and other materials used in teaching students about the human body. It also explores the long connections between anatomy and art – from the Artistic Anatomy classes taught by the first Professor of Anatomy, Andrew Melville Paterson, up to the unique Medical and Forensic Art masters courses that the University offers today.

Wednesday afternoon lecture – University of Dundee

From the Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden :

The first of the Wednesday afternoon lectures, held in the D’Arcy Thompson lecture theatre in the Tower Building at the University of Dundee, takes place later this week. 
 
This will be given by Dr Neil Paterson of the Botanic Garden, and the title is “Sex, Obsession and Madness: Linnaeus and the naming of names”. 
 
It is on Wednesday 17th October at 2.15pm, and admission is £2 – all welcome!

University of Dundee Culture Day: Examining the Body

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
 
The University’s annual Culture Day is a stimulating mix of talks and presentations across a wide-range of subjects united by a common theme. 
 
This year we are pleased to be part of the new Festival of the Future and we’ll be exploring the body, marking 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and 130 years since the first Professor of Anatomy was appointed in Dundee. 
 
Feel free to come to as much of the event as you like.   Admission is free and booking is not essential, but for catering purposes it would help if you could reserve a place via Eventbrite here.
 
Programme
 
1.30pm – Welcome
 
1.45pm – Keith Williams (English, School of Humanities) – Reanimating Bodies: the Frankenstein Theme in Early film
 
As an ‘electrical’ medium which brought still photographic images of bodies to life, early film became quickly associated with themes of bodysnatching, duplication and artificial reanimation. This talk examines the reasons why adaptations of Mary Shelley’s novel and related narratives became a kind of self-reflexive commentary on the apparently uncanny potentials of the new medium to reanimate both the living and the dead.
 
2.00pm – Caroline Brown (Archive Services) – Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes 
 
Using the theme of the body this talk uncovers some of the fascinating stories found in the University Archives. Pioneering experiments and discoveries, disease and health, art and fashion – all are explored through the medium of the human form. 
 
2.15pm – Peter Amoore & Joanna Helfer (Exhibitions, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design) – A Body of Art
 
Cooper Gallery, DJCAD presents a talk on the ways in which the idea of ‘The Body’ is represented, discussed and questioned by artists, writers and thinkers within our recent programme. Considering which bodies we mean when we talk about ‘The Body’, we will show clips of film, discuss artworks and quotations that challenge socially normative ideas of the bodies.
 
2.30pm – Claire Cunningham (CAHID, School of Science & Engineering) – Our Silent Teachers: Body donation at the University of Dundee 
 
Claire will discuss the process by which members of the public make the ultimate donation to the University, gifting their bodies for anatomical and medical students to learn from.
 
2.45pm – Break for refreshments
 
3.05pm – Matthew Jarron (Museum Services) – The Body Beautiful: Art and Anatomy
 
Dundee is now renowned for its unique Medical Art postgraduate course, but the University began bringing together art and anatomy from the beginning, thanks to the artistic interests of the first Cox Professor of Anatomy, Andrew Melville Paterson. This presentation will look at some of these early connections, as well as the beautifully created models, charts and other teaching aids used in the Anatomy department.
 
3.20pm – Allan Kennedy (History, School of Humanities) – The Body Brutalised: Torture in Scottish History
 
One of the most elemental facts about of the human body is that it is capable of feeling pain. This talk looks at the nature and uses of judicial torture in Scotland’s past. Focusing particularly on the early modern period (c.1500-c.1700), we will explore when and why torture was used by the Scottish authorities, before delving – in grizzly detail – into the precise techniques visited upon those unfortunate enough to come face-to-face with a torturer.
 
3.35pm – Diana Swales (CAHID, School of Science & Engineering) – The Stories Bodies Tell: Archaeological Narratives
 
Human remains from archaeological contexts and their treatment in death provide clues about the lives people led and the socio-cultural relationships of the living. This talk covers the osteobiographies of archaeological human remains including theories and case studies. 
 
3.50  – Break
 
4.15pm – Neil Paterson (Botanic Garden) – From the Metamorphosis of Plants to the Origin of Species: Goethe, Darwin and the Development of the Plant Body
 
Goethe, the author of Faust, is the towering German literary figure. But he also saw himself as a scientist and put forward ideas on plant form which prefigure yet clash with the concepts of modern botany, informed by the insights of Darwinian evolutionary thought.
 
4.30pm – Chris Murray (English, School of Humanities) – Frankenstein and Comics
 
This illustrated talk will explore the many adaptations of Frankenstein in comics and graphic novels, with a special emphasis on comics responding to the novel produced by creators associated with the Scottish Centre for Comics Studies and Dundee Comics Creative Space.
 
4.45pm – Graeme Stevenson (Music) – A Body of Music
 
The “heart” and “eyes” are frequently mentioned in love songs but there’s a long history of anatomical references in music. Graeme will talk about and play some examples of these works including music by Buxtehude and Marin Marais.
 
5pm – Finish

Sculpture in the City – new exhibition

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
 
Over the summer, Museum Services has been working with Art UK, Historic Environment Scotland, the Menzieshill Photography Group and other volunteers to map and record Dundee’s amazing collection of public art. 
 
We have so far documented over 450 pieces and you can now see a selection of photographs taken by our volunteers in a new exhibition, Sculpture in the City – Celebrating Public Art in Dundee, showing in the Sharing Not Hoarding poster boards on the north east corner of Slessor Gardens. 
 
The exhibition features striking photographs of public sculpture and has been funded by Art UK using HLF funding as part of its Sculpture Around You programme. It has been curated by Museum Services with artist David Oudney. 
 
We have various other plans to promote public art in Dundee, including another exhibition by the Menzieshill Photography Group coming up at Dundee Central Library and a new Facebook page here.
 
The exhibition runs until 2 November. Find out more on the Sharing Not Hoarding website here.