Lecture: Drawing Life from Death with Allison Hill-Edgar


Why do artists learn anatomy and is it different from the medical study of anatomy? This lecture will explore the history of anatomy and how art and medicine have been closely intertwined and often interdependent for centuries. Whereas in the Renaissance, little distinction was made between artistic and medical anatomy, by the 19th century they were different pursuits. Particular focus will be given to the differences between Leonardo and Michelangelo, the pioneering work of Vesalius, the use of anatomical themes in paintings from Rembrandt to Eakins to Hirst, as well as the 19th century emphasis of teaching anatomy in both art academies and medical schools. Furthermore, the talk will discuss why and how artists are still studying anatomy today, as well as the fundamental importance of visual imagery to contemporary medicine.

Allison Hill-Edgar is an artist, art historian, and MD who focuses on the intersection of art, medicine, and gender. She has a BA in Art History from Harvard, an MD from Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons, and an MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art. In addition to studying drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and art history in the US, Italy, and France, she was awarded a scholarship from the US Senate to study art and culture in Japan. While pursuing her MFA at the NYAA, she received the Portrait Scholars Award and a residency in Russia.

In addition to her studio practice, commissions, and exhibitions, which explore the human body from many perspectives through painting, collage, and mixed media, she teaches and lectures on the visual arts, art history, and the history of anatomy. In 2020 she was awarded the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine at the National Library of Medicine (NIH) for an ongoing research project, “Reframing Anatomical History Through the Female Body,” and gave their annual lecture in 2021.

$13.50 Members; $16 Non-Members

Masking may be required to attend this program. However, due to the ever-evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation, protocol may be changed in the future. Please come prepared with a mask in the event that they are required. We thank you for understanding and helping us keep our visitors and staff safe.

Thursday, June 2, 2022
7:00 pm — 9:00 pm (2h)

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