Starting in the Renaissance, artists in their quest for naturalism studied and drew the human body, sometimes using cadavers despite clear interdiction from the Catholic church. Centuries later, the rise of surgical education in the 18th century created a demand for cadavers to be used in dissection and anatomical demonstrations. A new trade of "body snatchers," or “resurrection men,” emerged to meet this demand. This exhibition tells the story of shifting meanings attached to dead bodies, from religious reverence to medical authority. The works collected here cast us all as “body snatchers,” people who find meaning and value in the raw facts of death.
Artists include Lavinia Fontana, Romare Howard Bearden, Francisco de Goya, Salvador Dalì, John Sloan, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Fred Tomaselli, Whitfield Lovell, and Helen Redman.
Body Snatchers: Death in Culture is curated by Emily Russell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English at Rollins College and her students.
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