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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

2017-08-02 10:18:53

More Spaces On The Sculpting The Body SUmmer Course At The Ruskin

A couple more spaces came free on the Sculpting the Body course (5 days) making a full clay 24 inch figure of model Andrew Crayford with museum visits, lectures and wax maquette making. Go to the Ruskin website to read details and reserve your place - the listing is some way down the Human Anatomy courses page.

Image : Model Andrew Crayford

Ruskin website course listings

2017-07-11 23:54:37

Ruskin Anatomy Summer Schools, Oxford, Aug-Sept 2017

The much-loved Ruskin summer schools, taught by myself and Sarah Simblet, are coming up again and booking up fast - contact the school to reserve your place! This is where we get the time and space to sculpt in earnest!

Dates 2017

Art & Anatomy, Course One: Monday 31st July - Sunday 6th August

Head & Neck (Portraiture and facial reconstruction) : Tuesday 8th August - Saturday 12th August

Sculpting the Body : Anatomy, Life Modelling with model Andrew Crayford and Écorché : Friday 18th August - Tuesday 22nd August

The Archaeology of Self: my new multimedia course with Oxford's museums - Saturday 26 - Wednesday 30 August

Art & Anatomy, Course Two: Saturday 16th September - Friday 22nd

Link to the Ruskin short courses website, further info and bookings

2017-07-11 23:47:01

Death And The Maiden Conference, Winchester University July 21-24

An interdisciplinary conference exploring the relationship between women and death

I will be appearing as sculptor in residence working (still) on my lifesized carved wooden tomb figure, Guy of Gaunt. Demonstrting techniques, answering questions, and presenting a paper.

Death & the Maiden (also known as deadmaidens) is a website founded by Lucy Coleman Talbot, and Sarah Chavez (Troop), Executive Director of The Order of the Good Death and a founding member of Death Salon. At the advent of the current wave of the death acceptance movement, the observation was widely made by press, funeral industry professionals and advocates, of the overwhelming number of women participating and expressing interest in death – from academics, to health care professionals, to artists.

As founders, their aim with Death & the Maiden was to create a space of exploration to examine the relationship between women and death by creating a platform for both discussion and feminist narratives. Death & the Maiden offers a supportive and inclusive community which endeavors to amplify the voices of those actively creating the future of death.This is accomplished by publishing articles, interviews and running a popular Twitter account that features the work and experiences of those working directly with or are inspired by themes of death. We acknowledge that social justice movements fighting for human, social, or reproductive rights of women such as Black Lives Matter, Ni Una Mas and countless others, are streams of the death positive movement. Among our contributors are scholars, death doulas, scientists, morticians, game developers, museum professionals, artists, anthropologists and activists, to name a few.

Co-organised by Dead Maidens with Dr Christina Welch, Senior Fellow in Theology and Religious Studies, University of Winchester

Conference website click here

2017-07-11 23:37:13

Residency At Florence University Museum Of Pathology

I've been very happily ensconsed last month at the Pathology museum in Florence with its amazing collections of wet specimens and wax models from the 19th century. The modellers were virtuosi trained in the studios of the La Specola anatomy museum. Leading up to a conference organised by Dr Roberta Ballestriero and Prof Gabriella Nesi ( my kind host) I modelled a set of heads and presented a paper on the importance of preserving such collections.

The special quality of the waxes in this collection seemed to be an ethereal pallor, shared by many of the wet specimens, and that's the area I ended up concentrating upon: how much colour is needed to suggest life, or death, or realism, and how much pallor adds to the atmosphere of a piece. More experiemnts will likely ensue. My gratitude to the museum and to the modellers of the old times.

Link to an article on the museum By Atlas Obscura

2017-01-05 15:19:54

International Congress On Wax Modelling 2017 Sept 1 ,2 & 3

Eleanor will take part in this international event as Artist In Residence, demonstrating the lost techniques of Clemente Susini the wax master of the Specola and Josephinum anatomical wax museums. She will present a new large anatomical sculpture in progress and work on it in an open discussion forum with original wax and varnish mixtures and talk about her experiences working with the museum collections - all in situ at the Gordon Museum of King's College London, next to the wax model collection of Joseph Towne.

Registration and call for papers now open

On the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of September 2017, for the first time in 40 years, the major institutions related to the art of Ceroplastics or Wax Modelling are going to meet again in an International Congress in London.

This time, presented by the Gordon Museum of Pathology, King’s College and Madame Tussauds it will explore the multidisciplinary potentials of the art of Ceroplastics in Art and Science.

This Congress is the brainchild of Dr Roberta Ballestriero who spent the last 20 years researching the art of ceroplastic (wax modelling) in Italy, Spain and the UK. A long-harboured dream was finally made possible thanks to a collaboration with a team of multi-disciplinary experts in this field.

They include;

Mr. Bill Edwards, curator of the Gordon Museum of Pathology and senior tutor at the King’s College where the largest collection of scientific wax models of Joseph Towne is kept.
Louise Baker, the first person responsible for the cataloguing and conservation of the ancient collection of Madame Tussaud.
Eleanor Crook, artist in residence at the Gordon Museum and one of the main artistic authorities in the contemporary wax modelling for the last 30 years.
Mr. Francis Wells, renowned cardio surgeon from Cambridge with a long-standing interest in the Arts and the relation between art and science.
Dr Francesco Maria Galassi, paleopathologist from the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zurich, who examines the importance of wax models in the history and evolution of ancient pathologies to the benefit of contemporary medical research.
Pascale Pollier, Belgian artist, President of AEIMS Association Européenne des Illustrateurs Médicaux et Scientifiques and talented wax modeller. Owen Burke, former medical physicist, photographer and graphic artist.

So far a wonderful variety of national and international speakers, coming from important institutions, have agreed to participate in the congress covering many of the different aspects of this fascinating and peculiar art:

Madame Tussauds: will present the history of waxworks, its historical importance and psychology.

Gordon Museum: holds the largest collection of anatomical, pathological and dermatological waxes of Joseph Towne (1806-1879), the first and the only anatomical ceroplastic artist known in the UK.

Museum of Zoology and Natural History “La Specola”, Florence: will present one of the oldest and finest collections of anatomical wax models of the 18th century from the ‘new model’ of scientific museum pioneered in the Enlightenment.

Museo Olavide, Madrid: will talk about the recently rediscovered collection of Spanish dermatological moulages.

The Victoria and Albert Museum: will show some of the beautiful, largely unknown, wax models and sketches from the 16th to the 19th century.

Westminster Abbey: will present the funeral masks and effigies of the Royal Family.

The approach of conservation and restoration of wax artefacts will be presented by revered institutions such as the Opificio delle Pietre dure of Florence, the Westminster Abbey conservator and the V&A of London.
British artist Eleanor Crook and Belgian artist Pascale Pollier will talk of the art of sculpting in wax, running some wax workshops in the Gordon Museum premises and with and exhibition of contemporary artworks made in this fascinating material.

London 2017

President: Roberta Ballestriero (London)

President of the Pygmalion Society: Louise Baker (London)
Vice Presidents: Bill Edwards (London), Eleanor Crook (London)
Organising Committee: Francis Wells (Cambridge), Francesco Maria Galassi (Zurich), Pascale Pollier (Belgium)
Webmaster: Owen Burke (London)

Wax Heart, Joseph Towne

Photograph: Owen Burke

Call for Papers

Deadline for abstract submission: 31st March 2017

Conference website

2016-11-07 13:08:35

Study Trip To FLorence, Wax Tools In Hand

I'm packing up a miniature version of my wax studio and taking it to Florence this November, doing some onsite sculpting at the Casa Buonarroti ( Michelangelo's old house so no pressure there) and some behind the scenes research at the wax anatomical Museo Della Specola. I've also been very fortunate to be invited to meet the team where Donatello's Mary Magdalen was restored, a full polychrome early Renaissance wood sculpture. I'm planning to seek and record anything interesting in a dense black renaissance recipe modelling wax and in silverpoint drawings. Back to the source.

( Image: Donatello's Mary Magdalen soon after she had been rescued from the waters of the great flood in Florence in 1966.)

2016-05-29 20:56:44

Death, Art & Anatomy Conference University Of Winchester, June 3-6, 2016

Eleanor will be In Residence at the conference this week doing a 4 day public woodcarving demonstration on the Carved Cadaver , Guy of Gaunt, a six-foot tomb effigy of a skeletal figure in the style of the late medieval effigies found in Britain and North Europe from the mid 15th - 16th centuries. The project was inspired by the research of Dr Christina Welch of Winchester University, and is presented as part of a large academic conference and series of performances and presentations over a long weekend. Eleanor will transport her carving studio to the West Downs building on the campus and continue work on the immense limewood block which was prepared and sent from teh Giesler-Moroder woodcarving school in Elbigenalp, the Tyrol, Austria, and crowdsourced by generous public support.

More details click here

2016-05-28 22:31:03

Upcoming 2 Day Workshop Hunterian Museum, Hold The Date!

Hold the Date for a 2 day wax modelling and painting workshop at the Hunterian Museum , Royal College of Surgeons, London with me in August, 19 and 20th. Details and Booking Info to be posted here soon!