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2020-01-07 14:33:57

Article About The Certosa Monumental Cemetery Of Bologna On Morbid Anatomy Patreon

In October I visited the vast Monumental Cemetery, the “Certosa” of Bologna , Italy. It was one of the most strikingly morbid and deathbound experiences of my travelling life. It made a deep and I confess ghastly impression on me which I decided to try to put it into words (and pictures) for my friends the followers of Morbid Anatomy.The essay is highly subjective and illustrated with numerous views of monuments, statuary, touching memorials, atmospheric decay and all the charms of an ancient necropolis site.

If you follow their (by $5 subscription) Patron you can read it at the link below.It is a few posts down on their list.

I recommend this Patreon to all lovers of history of medicine, of religion, of folk religion, of the strange and macabre - new posts are added very frequently and it satisfies for me and many others an art and curiosity wanderlust. Morbid Anatomy also organise events and workshops all over the world at which I often speak and teach sculpture - we have been close partners in crime for mny years! Look out for us in Amsterdam in May 2020....

Morbid Anatomy Online Journal Patreon

2019-12-09 20:45:17

An Illustrated Lecture With Morbid Anatomy About Santa Medicina

Recently my good friend Joanna Ebenstein, founder of the Morbid Anatomy library, blog, museum and Patreon pages, interviewed me about the new art commission I made for the Science Museum London's new Wellcome Galleries of Medicine. The Morbid Anatomy project and its preoccupations were highly formative on the statue and Joanna and I have often travelled and researched the subjects of religion, faith, medicine and mortality so who better to ask the questions.....

I recommend the Morbid Anatomy Patreon to all who enjoy art about anatomy, medical history, Catholica, folk religions and the uncanny.

Link to the interview on Patreon

2019-12-04 14:42:09

Interview With Front Row About The New Sculpture For The Science Museum

At the recent press launch for the new Wellcome Galleris of Medicine I was interviewed by John Wilson for BBC Radio 4's Front Row.

Floods and art, Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries, Tom Rosenthal
Front Row

With Italy set to declare a state of national emergency in Venice after the Unesco world heritage site was engulfed by a 6ft 'acqua alta', flooding its historic basilica and many other sites of great historic interest, art critic Jonathan Jones discusses the cultural significance of the imminent threat from flood and fire and what is being done to protect the city’s invaluable architectural and artistic heritage. And John Wilson talks to artist Katie Paterson about the metaphorical representation of environmental disasters in art and the responsibility amongst artists in raising awareness of current climatical concerns.

On Saturday the world’s largest galleries devoted to the history of medicine open at the Science Museum in London. Surprisingly, perhaps, there is a lot of art involved in medicine, with imaginatively-designed sculptural devices and equipment. Major new artworks have been commissioned for the new galleries too. John Wilson talks to the artists Marc Quinn, Studio Roso and Eleanor Crook, as well as Sir Ian Blatchford, the Science Museum’s director.

Tom Rosenthal is the musician whose songs are used on the new Radio 4 podcast Tunnel 29, the extraordinary true story of the escape tunnel dug under the Berlin Wall in 1962. Tom performs How This Came To Be live and discusses building a successful pop career outside of the mainstream music industry.

Presenter John Wilson
Producer Jerome Weatherald

Link to the recording

2019-12-02 00:02:29

Unveiled! My New Statue For The Science Museum London - "Santa Medicina"

This month marked the inauguration at the Science Museum London of the new Wellcome Galleries of Medicine of which my new bronze sculpture, Santa Medicina, is a feature. This was one of four Art Commissions for the Galleries by the Science Museum Group. You can find her - an allegorical figure of Medicine sheltering her patient in her ample skirts - in the Faith Hope and Fear gallery at the far side of the exhibit. The Medicine Galleries have been 8 years in the making, as showcase for history of Medicine, contemporary medicine and Henry Wellcome's collection and I am really honoured to have my Santa Medicina presented there to the public.

Press release of the Medicine Galleries

2019-11-10 19:55:26

Soon Unveiling A New Piece At The Wellcome Medicine Galleries, Science Museum London

In a few days' time I get to unveil a commission I've been making for the Science Museum London in the new Wellcome Galleries of Medicine. The galleries open to the public from November 16th 2019.

Link to the new Medicine Galleries announcement

2019-06-11 22:31:26

International Anaplastology Association Conference

I am very excited to be invited to be a keynote speaker at the conference of the IAA in Scottsdale Arizona. (That's prosthetics, facial and otherwise, to those of us in the UK) My techniques relate to the field of anaplastology insofar as they involve realism and material experientation, but in my field they are to the end of art or medical display and are used without a direct clinical application. Looking forward to sharing notes and skill sharing with experts in the field - I expect I shall learn a great deal.

IAA website

2019-05-27 14:10:33

Creativity Course With A Jungian Flavour : The Archaeology Of The Self

Join me for a week in Oxford in museums and at the Ruskin school of art!

Here's the course lowdown.

Running from Monday 12 to Friday 16 August, this intensive five-day mixed-media course will be led by Eleanor Crook, forensic artist, sculptor and mixed-media artist. Eleanor's background in Classics, Philosophy, Art History and Anatomy makes her the ideal teacher to encourage and guide participants on an individual quest to synthesize in their own creative works both the personal and the broader context of cultural history.

Based in the Ruskin School of Art’s studios, participants will explore assemblage (painting-sculpting-drawing-collage) to develop an Archaeology of the Self, drawing inspiration from the unique museums of Oxford.

You will be working at The Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum, the Ashmolean Museum, and the Museum of the History of Science. These historic and curious collections within the University of Oxford offer a treasury of inspiration, wherein an artist can explore and discover a unique personal voice and modus operandi.

The course will excavate the artist / maker / self as a layered history of memories, ideas, learnings, and collected objects. Participants will be taught a working process, and create a body of work like a personal archaeological museum – unique to each person, and universal in its connections with our shared history and cultures. The ideas explored owe a nod to C. G. Jung and hos own personal art practice. You will leave the course with your own collection of your Self, including a personal effigy or totem, and a portfolio of images and objects.

Teaching in assemblage and mixed media will form the basis of this course, but this is primarily a space for experimentation and development, where participants will be generating a personal imagery, under the guidance of Eleanor and guest speakers. It will allow you to open your practice beyond representation, technique and commercial concerns. In particular, the course will emphasize the value of crafted images and artefacts, putting the digital aside for the duration of the five days to reconnect with the power of the handmade.

This course will be especially suitable for artist-practitioners interested in site-responsive work, especially embedded in museums; for students wanting to bring depth to their portfolios; and most of all, for people who want to use art to enrich their personal insight and development.

"Wow!!! Perfect - all of it. Trips to museums, films, group chats, studio free for all. Exceeded expectations." Course participant

"All was fabulously thought-through and delivered. All the talks and lectures were relevant and fed into the creative output." Course participant

More details and booking

2019-05-27 13:55:28

2nd International Congress On Wax Modelling Padua June 2019

I'm getting my gear ready to show anatomical wax modelling techniques and a talk ready abpout my new sculpture which uses some very ancient wax techniques from the bell casting industry. Hope to see you there....

We are looking forward to seeing you at the Second International Congress on Wax Modelling
University of Padua - 7-8 June 2019

Vi aspettiamo al secondo Convegno Internazionale sulla Ceroplastica
Università di Padova - 7-8 giugno 2019

We are looking forward to seeing you at the Second International Congress on Wax Modelling
University of Padua - 7-8 June 2019

Conference Website

2018-09-25 21:42:23

Upcoming Weekend Of Anatomy In Vienna With Morbid Anatomy Oct 13/14

Morbid Anatomy Vienna Anatomy Weekend at the Narrenturm and the Josephinum
Vienna, Austria
October 13 and 14, 2018
All programs will be in English.


For Josephiunum Events:
E-Mail: josephinum@meduniwien.ac.at
Phone: +43 1 40160 26001

For Narrenturm Events:
E-Mail: pas@nhm-wien.ac.at
Phone: +43 1 521 77 606

Please join us this October as we partner with two of the world's most magnificent medical museums--The Josephinum, housing a historical collection of 18th century anatomical wax models crafted by Italy's La Specola workshop, and the pathological-anatomical collection housed in an 18th century former madhouse, the Narrenturm.

Also, please note: this will be one of your last chances to see The Josephinum before it closes down for renovations!

This special weekend will include exclusive front and back stage tours of these incredible historic collections, along with the opportunity to make your own wax moulage and draw 18th century wax models removed from their cases. It will also include illustrated lectures by Eduard Winter of the Narrenturm, conservator Martina Peters of the Josephinum, medical illustrator Marie Dauhiemer, wax artist Eleanor Crook, and Morbid Anatomy's Joanna Ebenstein, all touching on the intersections of art and medicine, death and culture.


Saturday October 13
Tours, lectures and drawing from the specimens workshop at the Josephinum
Tours at the Narrenturm
Sunday October 14
Tours and moulage making workshop at the Narrenturm

Lectures, guided tours, and workshop
Lectures and guided tour: 40 EUR per person
Guided tour (without lectures): 25 EUR per person
Drawing workshop (with original, uncased wax models from the collection): 35 EUR per person (all materials provided)

10:00 am – 12:00 pm – Lectures
12:00 pm – 13:00 pm – Lunch break
13:00 pm – 14:30 pm – Drawing workshop, guided tour
14:30 pm – 15:00 pm – Coffee break (Lesesaal-Josephinum, incl. coffee, cold drinks and snacks)
15:00 pm – 16:30 pm – Drawing workshop, guided tour
17:00 pm – 18:30 pm – guided tour

Eduard Winters of the Narrenturm: The Pathologic-anatomical Collection Vienna Preparations from the Last 222 Years
Martina Peters of the Josephinum: Waxworks at the Josephinum: History and Technology
Marie Dauhiemer of The Vesalius Trust: Bernard Siegfried Albinius, Jan Wandelaar, and the Creation of Homo Perfectus
Wax Anatomical Artist Eleanor Crook: Wax Moulage: Trophies of the Extremes of Human Experience
Morbid Anatomy's Joanna Ebenstein The Anatomical Venus: An Enlightenment-era St. Teresa Ravished by Communion with the Invisible Forces of Science

Guided tours

The guided tours will offer deeper look into the Josephinum’s extensive collection of historical anatomical wax models back and front stage. Attendees will learn about human anatomy with the help of the historic waxworks. They will also see the extensive collection of pathological obstetric wax models learn about the history and origin of the collections and museum.

The tours will also include a visit backstage to the conservation atelier, where you will learn about the challenges of the artefact’s protection and maintenance. We will also see The Josephinum’s unique collection of ophthalmological 19th century wax moulages; crafted by by Johann Hofmayer under supervision of Professor Anton von Rosas, they are not generally on view to the public.


In this workshop, Martina Peters, conservator at the Josephinum, will guide students in drawing wax anatomical models from the collection. Two original 18th century models will be removed from their historic glass cases to allow for a more detailed study. The participants will hereby have the opportunity to explore human anatomy in the classical 18th century manner. All material--including sketch blocks, pencils (HB, 2B and 6B), erasers and sharpeners as well as easels--will be provided.


Open hours at the museum are from 10-13h. We will provide English guided tours every hour, starting at 10am, 11am and 12am. The tour will take you through the study collection of the museum. We will charge the normal (opening hours) fee of 8€ per person. Each tour will last 45 minutes.


Narrenturm4 different tours, 15 participants each, 1 hour each
10 am, 11:30 am, 1 pm, and 2:30 pm
1 tour: 12€ each
3 or 4 tours: 10€ each
Wax moulage making workshop: 50 €

Study collection plus extra rooms (not included in the opening hour tours)
Gynaecology + Electropathology + Veterinary pathologies
Behind the scenes
Wax Moulage Making Workshop with Ceroplast Eleanor Crook 10 am and 1 pm, maximum 12 people
2 classes with 12 participants for each class
50€ all materials included

Let acclaimed sculptor Eleanor Crook guide you in creating your very own wax pathology sculpture. Crook has lent her experience to professionals ranging from forensic law enforcement officers to plastic surgeons, so is well placed to help you make a horrendously lifelike model of leprosy, syphilis, scars, boils or blisters, - any dermatological case. Each participant will end up with a mounted wax face moulage to keep, and will learn wax modelling the details, colouring , hair insertion and the traditional presentation method using a bandage and pins on a board for wall hanging. Materials and tools will be explained and demonstrated, disease processes illustrated, dire pathologies imitated, and the afflicted face of an unfortunate will eventually grace your home.

Eleanor Crook trained in sculpture at Central St Martins and the Royal Academy and makes figures and effigies in wax, carved wood and lifelike media. She has also made a special study of anatomy and has sculpted anatomical and pathological waxworks for the Gordon Museum of Pathology at Guy's Hospital, London's Science Museum, and the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Vrolik Museum Amsterdam.She exhibits internationally in both fine art and science museum contexts. In the interest of making figures more lifelike than the living, using a generous grant from the Wellcome Trust she developed the incorporation of electronic animatronics systems into the sculptures so that her moribund and macabre creations now can twitch and mutter. She is artist in residence at the Gordon Museum of Pathology, a member of the Medical Artists' Association, runs a course in Anatomy drawing at the Camberwell School of Art and restores historic wax medical collections for a number of institutions.

Top image: 18th century Anatomical Venus; Alexander Ablogin/Josephinum. All others by Joanna Ebenstein.

Morbid Anatomy blog here & registration

2018-04-11 06:46:52

Upcoming Group Exhibition Commemorating Nursing In WW1

I will be taking part in an exhibition in the Sint Bertinuskerk in Poperinge, Flanders, Belgium, to commemorate the contribution of nurses on the Western Front in the First World War. Curated by Chantal Pollier and supported by Toerisme Vlaanderen and Gone West. We will be installing work in the chapel and church in the last week of June for and end of June opening.

"The exhibition HEELKRACHT / HEALING brings the story of the Belgian nurses during the First World War for the first time. One of them is countess Maria van den Steen de Jehay. The Countess is the driving force behind the Elisabeth Hospital in Poperinge. With friend and foe she is known as the major of Poperinge. Throughout the war, she and her nurses took care of citizens and soldiers. The motto: sometimes heal, often enlighten, always comfort. It is also the leitmotif for the four contemporary artists who reside in the guesthouse chapel this summer: Chantal Pollier (B), Ezra Veldhuis (Netherlands), Harlinde De Mol (B) and Eleanor Crook (UK). Four women give their artistic vision on the themes of mortality, physicality, healing power and comfort."

More info to follow and check out the project's development in my "on the workbench" - button below.

For more info click here

2018-03-01 14:48:11

Anatomy For Arists : An Evening Looking At Drawings And Discussing Training Mar 19 2018

Mon 19 March 2018
18:00 – 20:00 GMT
Free event


Conference Room, Museum of English Rural Life and Special Collections Service

“The beauty of the human form…does not by any means reside in its superficial covering, but it depends essentially on that of the structures situated beneath” – John Marshall (Professor of Anatomy at the Royal Academy Schools, 1873-1891), Anatomy for Artists, 1883.

In 1883, the Victorian artist Minnie Jane Hardman produced a set of drawings displaying the supposed ‘muscles’ and ‘bones’ hiding beneath the marble ‘skin’ of classical sculpture. As a probationer in the Royal Academy Schools, a set of studies of this kind were a requirement to prove her working knowledge of anatomy.
Today, Minnie’s drawings form part of the Art Collection held at the University of Reading, together with over 60 studies displaying the full range of her practice as student. Join Art Historian, Dr Naomi Lebens, Curator of Art Collections at the University of Reading, and British sculptor Eleanor Crook, for an informal evening to view a selection of works from the collection and to find out more about the history of anatomy in art education and practice. Dr Lebens will set Minnie’s drawings into the historical context of anatomical education and approaches to the body in the Royal Academy Schools. Eleanor Crook, who has developed a practice in expressionist anatomical wax model-making, will reflect upon the representational strategies Minnie uses in the drawings, and compare Minnie’s anatomical education to her own, which also took place, in part, at the Royal Academy Schools. Eleanor studied at the Schools almost exactly 100 years after Minnie, where she specialized in wax modelling, lost wax bronze casting and other lifelike media. She learned anatomy and Forensic Facial Reconstruction to imbue her figures - more effigy than statue - with a convincing sense of life.
This event is part one of a two-part series on the Minnie Jane Hardman Collection held in collaboration with Jelly Reading. You can book tickets for Part 2 here:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/anatomy-for-artist-life-drawing-event-part-two-tickets-42911484405
Image credit: Minnie Jane Hardman (1862-1952), Study of Heracles, viewed from behind, graphite, 1883, The University of Reading Art Collection ©Intellectual Property Office, OWLS000124-13

Image: Drawings from Reading's collection of Minnie Jane Hardman , photo by Naomi Lebens

For Bookings and further info, click here

2017-10-23 12:45:49

Hybrids And Health Humanities: Ceroplasty, Couplets, Chimeras At Reading University

As part of the Monsters and the Monstrous season of events, poet Kelley Swain and I will be visiting the University to demonstrate our collaborations in mixed-media approaches to hybrids and human anatomy.

The talk will take place at 7pm on 23 October 2017, London Road Campus, L022 G01. Admission Free.

Image : Nietzschekuh, Bronze height 23cm 2001 Copyright Eleanor Crook

For more info click here

2017-10-23 12:39:59

Death, A Graveside Companion By Joanna Ebenstein Now Published

The sumtuous new illustrated book from Morbid Anatomy founder the polymathic Joanna Ebenstein is now published by Thames and Hudson and I'm honoured to have one of my articles published in it, a discussion of the the art tendency Anatomical Expressionism, whereby anatomical knowledge is deployed for the aim of heightening the emotional load of sculptural and other artworks.

The book, a lavish and beautifully produced weighty tome. has thousands of rare images from many times and cultures all centred on the theme of mortality and draws heavily on the Chicago - based art collection of Richard Harris which was on show at the Wellcome a few years ago .

Order your copy click here

2017-09-18 17:04:51

Workshops At Amsterdam Vrolik Museum Weekend Of Anatomy October 7-8 , 2017

If you have ever wanted to sculpt a wax museum jar specimen - human or animal, part or whole, foetal or pathological, weird or wonderful, and "embalm "it in a jar decorated in 17th century style after the master of the Macabre yet curiously compelling specimen Frederik Ruysch, join me at the Vrolik Museum in Amsterdam for a workshop and weekend of anatomy. All materials provided, skills and trade secrets revealed, and you will go home with a truly beautiful and curious Jar for your growing Cabinet of Curiosities.

Image: embellished human specimen jar prepared by Frederik Ruysch in the 17th century.

For Bookings and further info, click here

2017-08-15 15:22:00

The Corpse That Could Not Lie : Lecture On Art And Forensic Science Oct 21 2017

When: Saturday, October 21 at 3 PM - 4:30 PM

Where: Dissenters' Chapel, Kensal Green
391 Ladbroke Grove, W10 5AA London, United Kingdom

Tickets available from londonmonthofthedead.com

Anatomical and Forensic sculptor Eleanor Crook investigates the connections between the Forensic scientist and the effigy artist: a shared vigilance about the minutiae of the body, a sense of place and the clues left behind by unwonted activity; how Matter can bear witness to shady deeds and attempts to lie about the past. There is a relationship between the Pathology detective’s rational and intense search for a Cause of Death and our more philosophical anxieties about the nature of death and the anatomical mechanism of life. The forensic investigators collaborate with the corpse itself, which communicates the truth– via chemistry, anatomy and, perhaps, something less tangible – from beyond the morgue.

Tickets £12. Each ticket includes one delightful Hendrick’s Gin cocktail and a 20% donation towards a host of restoration projects at Kensal Green Cemetery.

This salon in the cemetery is part of the London Month of the Dead 2017.

Image : Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Watson in The Scarlet Claw (1944)

A link to the Facebook page for this event