In Elegant Anatomy, I offer an account of the material culture of the eighteenth-century Leiden anatomical collections, which have not been studied in detail before. The novel analytical concept of aesthetes is introduced, as these historical medical collections may seem strange, and undeniably have a morbid aesthetic, yet are neither curiosities nor art.
As this book deals with issues related to the keeping and displaying of historical human remains, it is highly relevant for material culture and museum studies, cultural history, the history of scientific collections and the history of medicine alike. Unlike existing literature on historical anatomical collections, this book takes the objects in the collections as its starting point, instead of the people that created them.
The book is available in print and as an e-book from Brill.
M.M.A. Hendriksen, Elegant Anatomy. The Eighteenth-Century Leiden Anatomical Collections. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2015.