- Gebundene Ausgabe: 192 Seiten
- Verlag: Blast Books (7. Oktober 2002)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0922233241
- ISBN-13: 978-0922233243
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 1,9 x 23,5 x 28,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 620.811 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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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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.
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.
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.
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