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The Wellcome’s new exhibition of anatomical models proves to be an aesthetic as well as a scientific experience

By Ben Lewis   September 2009

“Exquisite Bodies,” at the Wellcome Collection until 18th October, is a concise, beautifully installed and fascinating show. It’s a science exhibition—to wit, anatomical models from the 18th and 19th century—but it’s an aesthetic experience as well as a scientific one. One exhibit makes that clear. It’s a poster from Hamburg dated 1913, showing the interior of an anatomical museum. Around the walls are rows and rows of anatomical models—mostly male torsos with heads and a skeleton. In the foreground are visitors, men in bowler hats, looking up or with their heads buried studiously in books. Models and skeletons alike appear…

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