As the title of this update intimates, this is our final update for Teaching the Body.
Yesterday was a bittersweet day, as we deinstalled the gallery and packed things up to send them back "home" - I felt both sadness and relief. That this project has come to a close means that I can turn my attention more fully to my doctoral dissertation, which will explore this material in more depth. Yet I also felt a void as I looked around the gallery and saw empty walls, the crates lined in rows destined for Philadelphia & Chicago, and the boxes of work heading to Western Mass. and the MFA, Boston. I felt sad that these works will never exist in the same place together again, with the same context, or the same narrative. However, thanks to your support they were able to "live" at the Boston University Art Gallery for two months, narrating the history of Artistic Anatomy in America to the groups of students, medical professionals, artists, & visitors who came and explored the exhibition. Our programming was a great success as was the catalogue (which is now listed on Amazon & worldcat), while our final press review posted on Friday on The Art Fuse called on visitors to "rush over" before we closed our doors.
All in all, I feel blessed to have shared this journey with you - to have had the support of both strangers & friends - in making this vision a reality. The image that I leave you with was on loan to us from the Collection of the Morton R. Godine Library, Massachusetts College of Art and Design. " Photograph of Women studying Artistic Anatomy with Skull, with Instructor Mercy Bailey," June 1894. Albumen print on card; 4 11/16 x 7 ½ in. Proud to be the purveyors of anatomical knowledge, these female art students exhort us to remember the challenges faced by women in gaining access to anatomical knowledge and remind us of the ways that the body still operates as a repository of knowledge - both medical and aesthetic. This is expressed in the contemporary works on view in the gallery including Lisa Nilsson's quilled paper sculptures, Ed Stitt's triptych self-portrait, Hyman Bloom's seductive and disquieting Leg on Table, or Kiki Smith's minimalist Veins & Arteries; the anatomical journey continues!
Thank you all & Best wishes, Naomi