Archive for the ‘Medicine & Art’ Category

How can something so deadly be so beautiful?!

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

This morning, one of my senior trial lawyers, Marian Hogan, brought to my attention a New York Times featured post called “Killer Art.”

If you look at Marian’s biography, you see that she “earned a graduate degree in anatomic pathology from the University of Maryland. In addition to completing that coursework at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, she performed hundreds of autopsies, examined thousands of surgical specimens, and also conducted original medical research.” Her office is adorned with photographs of surgical specimens, which in their own macabre way are fascinating, if not beautiful.

I started this post with a picture of one of the artist’s – Luke Jerram – pieces. What did you think when you first saw it? Was it beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, interesting, mystifying? If I now tell you it is a representation of the swine flu organism in transparent glass, what’s your reaction now?

Jerram’s website offers the following:

Jerram is exploring the tension between the artworks’ beauty, what they represent and their impact on humanity.

The sculptures were designed in consultation with virologists from the University of Bristol using a combination of different scientific photographs and models. They were made in collaboration with glassblowers Kim George, Brian Jones and Norman Veitch.

OK…so this isn’t one of our usual posts involving medicine, law, injuries and the like. That being said – the exhibit does fascinate me. How does it strike you?

Margaret Wolfe Hungerford: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Then again – maybe the words of Virginia Woolf are more appropriate in this instance.
The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.”

Maybe I’ll go take another look at Marian’s autopsy specimen pictures one more time….