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The Mütter Museum: Of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 7. Oktober 2002

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Gretchen is the director of the Mutter Museum.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x92e0c2e8) von 5 Sternen 31 Rezensionen
76 von 77 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x92f58be8) von 5 Sternen Finally, a showcase for these wonderful images 8. November 2002
Von James G. Mundie - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I have long been a fan and frequent visitor to the Mutter Museum, and the items in it's collection have served and continue to serve as inspiration for my work. The late Gretchen Worden was most generous in allowing me access to some of the 'behind the scenes' items I am delighted to find included in this book.

Anyone who has come across one of the famous Mutter Museum calendars will be familiar with the beautiful photographs from the likes of Rosamond Purcell, Joel-Peter Witkin, Max Aquilera-Hellweg, etc. -- and if not, this is the ideal opportunity to experience them. However, for me it is the archival photos from the bowels (ahem!) of the Mutter's storage rooms that are the real treasures here -- many of which have never been published before. In spite of their generally more clinical nature, these photographs of patients and odd medical conditions often acheive a level of artistry equal to the efforts of the featured contemporary photographers.

The images are complemented by an engaging preface and essay by Ms. Worden, discussing not only the reasons why artists are drawn to the Mutter's collections, but also how these 'pathological treasures' came together under the roof of the College of Physicians.

If this book has a fault, it is that there isn't more of it! Although Ms. Worden is no longer with us, I hope that someone else will step up to create future volumes in what I hope will become long series. There is certainly ample material in the Mutter collection yet to explore.
39 von 44 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x92f58c3c) von 5 Sternen truly tiresome photography 14. Januar 2006
Von Sarah Munro - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The objects and images in Mutter Museum are obviously fascinating and I can see that even though most of the photographs of them in this book are truly tiresome.

To quote another review I read on the book "the archival photos from ...the Mutter's storage rooms that are the real treasures here.... In spite of their generally more clinical nature, these photographs of patients and odd medical conditions often achieve a level of artistry equal to the efforts of the featured contemporary photographers. "

I disagree. The old clinical photographs are far more interesting than the " featured contemporary photographers" Why? Because the ' featured contemporary photographers' just tried to hard to be interesting. They didn't let that objects etc speak for themselves. I don't need to see the photographers pet dog posed with the human foot in a jar. I don't want to look at the 'infant skeleton with club feet' with its feet artfully cut out of the frame. I want to look at a photograph of something as interesting a preserved head in focus...not shot in a meaningful out of focus way.
36 von 43 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x92f58f0c) von 5 Sternen A muddled mess of art photography and medicine--not enough of either 19. August 2006
Von Suzanne Amara - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I often find that books that try to be two things at once don't really make it as either, and this is a case in point. I thought it might be a book ABOUT the Mutter Museum and the exhibits there, but it's not really, it's a book of artsy photographs that happen to be taken at the museum. However, it then includes bits and pieces of medicine and medical history, but never enough to really give you any perspective or answer questions you might have about the pictures. There is a section at the end that is straight writing without photos, but it's ALSO a muddled mess---a thrown together hodge-podge of history and only one, for some reason, case study. I don't think the medical information was that well edited, as I read with surprise that now babies born as early as the 3rd month of gestation can survive outside the womb! Wow! I bet that will be news to many OB/GYNs!

Maybe I don't know enough about art photography, but I found the photos underwhelming. Many were not really focused. There were often more than one of the same exhibit, from different angles, and for some reason in different places in the book. The most jarring photos to me were not the sad ones of horrible deformities but the ones with the dogs of William Wegman posing with such things as a preserved diseased foot. WHY? I felt it was really a blow to the dignity of the people that gave their body parts to science.

The best part of the book to me was the older photos, taken in the 19th century, which gave dignity to their subjects, and the pictures of wax models. They were so much more straightforward and clear than the other photos.

Overall, not worth the money. I hope someone at some point does a different book about this museum.
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x934aa450) von 5 Sternen The Museum as Photography Studio:Treaties with the Aberrant 27. März 2005
Von Grady Harp - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This beautifully designed, researched and photographed monograph is one of the most interesting journeys you'll likely encounter in the volumes of art and photography books. Though not well known to the regular museum-visiting public, the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia is a richly rewarding sanctuary for the many forms of medical aberrations that have been collected since the museum's founding in 1858. Housed in this museum are over 20,000 specimens, photographs, paintings and molds of patients and organs and remnants of the lives of people born with deformities, better described as variations from the norm. It is much to the credit of director Gretchen Worden that she not only preserved this fine collection, but that she had the foresight to invite many of our finest photographers to enter this domain of the bizarre and create formal portraits of the materials there contained.

Devotees of medical history, as well as those fascinated by the people from the past who made their living as part of 'freak side shows' in a time less compassionate than now, will find in this book some of the best renderings of nature's spectrum of anomalies. Add to this plethora of model material the genius of such photographers as Joel Peter Witkin and the result is a collection of photographs so bizarre they defy credibility. But real they are, and each specimen is presented with dignity and quality of format. There are even descriptions of the etiology of some of the photographed abnormalites and a fine essay by Gretchen Worden, explaining the purpose of the museum, the monograph and the stimulus for the production of this fine body of photographs.

There may be those that shy away from viewing variations from normal because of the backlash of the previous century's condemnation of 'voyeurism'. Rest assured that this is a volume that maintains the dignity of the body and does not sensationalize these variations as grotesqueries. Sensitivity prevails. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, March 05
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x934aa468) von 5 Sternen A Great Coffee Table Filler 3. Dezember 2006
Von The Comtesse DeSpair - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
If you don't have the calendars, this is an excellent way to get some of the delightfully artistic photographs of the creepy exhibits at the Mütter Museum. My primary complaint is that the text is often a bit short on detail, but it could very well be that not that much is known about some of the specimens. Also, the lack of photographs of some of the most interesting exhibits - such as the Soap Lady and the Giant Colon - is annoying, especially since they don't let you take pictures yourself at the museum. But there are more than enough fascinating photographs to make this a worthwhile addition to morbid coffee tables everywhere!
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