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Center for Teaching & Learning: Perspectives on Teaching & Learning

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At the Intersection of Art and Medicine: The Visible Human Project

by Reena Lederman Gerard on 2019-09-10T17:28:00-04:00 in Educational Technology | 0 Comments

Art and medicine go hand-in-hand in many ways: hospitals commission art, art therapy, art as a path to learning observation, or art as mode of humanizing patients. Continuing the exploration of medicine and art, The National Library of Medicine opened their extraordinary database of the human body in 3-D to a group of artists. Through The Visible Human Project, a new and rich source of human anatomy material was made available and artists were encouraged to explore this information. The project extended an older practice of using slices from frozen cadavers for the study of anatomy. Using scans from computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of two corpses, which were then sliced into cross-sections and digitized, these bodies could now be digitally rendered and manipulated in 3-D. The project and other organizations funded artists to translate and transform the raw data into multimedia art. The works below are interactive and facilitate exploration that is now accessible outside the realm of scientists.

Don't miss Alexander Tsiaras brilliant medical illustrations. Through the Visible Human Project Tsairas was able to further his work and develop The BodyVoyage: A Three-Dimensional Tour of a Real Human Body CD-ROM and book.

Carolyn Henne
Suspended Self Portrait



Rae Douglass


The Visible Human Project: Plexi-Books
The Visible Human Plexi-Books

Learn more about the artists. Visit the NIH's site Dream Anatomies:The Art of the Visible Human.

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