Science and the Artist's Book

An exhibition by the Smithsonian Institution Libraries and the Washington Project for the Arts


Herald of Science

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Johannes de Ketham
Fasciculus Medicine [Medical treatise]
Venice, 1495

    Life in the late 1400s was precarious. Everyone was vulnerable to serious health risks, whether from injury, accidents, the plague, or other illnesses. Ketham's Medical Treatise, published in 1495, suggests treatments and cures for many of these afflictions, including wounds from swords, knives, arrows, and thorns, as pictured here.

Artist's Book

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Joyce Cutler-Shaw
The Anatomy Lesson: A Collation
San Diego, California, 1995
[handmade paper, paint, board ]

    Joyce Cutler-Shaw is currently artist-in-residence at the School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, where she explores attitudes toward the body and human identity through drawing and writing. In this work she studies Ketham's Medical Treatise, comparing attitudes of the late 1400s to 20th-century views.

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