Public Anatomies in Fin - de - Siècle Vienna

Medicine Studies 2 (1):71-92 (2010)
Anatomical exhibitions, online atlases and televised dissections have recently attracted much attention and raised questions concerning the status of and the authority over the human body, the purpose of anatomical education within and outside medical schools and the methods of teaching in the digital age. I propose that for understanding the current public views of anatomy, we need to gain insight into their historical development. This article focuses on anatomies accessible to non-medical audiences in the capital of the Habsburg Empire, Vienna, at the time when the city was the seat of a world-leading medical school. Anatomy at the University of Vienna was famous for its research, instruction and the abundant provision with dissectible corpses. Public anatomies were equally rich and ranged from exhibitions at the Präuscher’s Panoptikon und Anatomisches Museum , established in 1871 in the Prater amusement park, lectures on human and comparative anatomy by the university professor Carl Bernhard Brühl (1863–1890), to displays of anatomical objects at the World Exhibition in 1873. I finish by discussing a collection of letters written by the prospective ‘cadaver donors’, offering an insight into the ways in which medical encounters and anatomical knowledge informed the working-class views of their bodies. By looking at the kinds of anatomy in circulation, as well as at the participants in these exchanges, I want to illuminate the relationship between academic and public anatomies, as well as to reveal the purposes to which public anatomy served.
Keywords Anatomy  Vienna  Dissection  Public  Education  Knowledge circulation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s12376-010-0046-0
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,488
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
James Secord (2004). Knowledge in Transit. Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 95:654-672.
Susanne Hahn (1999). Der Leipziger Anatom Werner Spalteholz (1861–1940) und seine Beziehungen zum Deutschen Hygiene-Museum. Ntm International Journal of History and Ethics of Natural Sciences, Technology & Medicine 7 (1):105-117.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Donata Romizi (2012). The Vienna Circle’s “Scientific World-Conception”: Philosophy of Science in the Political Arena. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 2 (2):205-242.
Ingrid Kästner (2007). Johann von Oppolzer (1808–1871) Als Direktor der Medizinischen Klinik an der Universität Leipzig. NTM International Journal of History and Ethics of Natural Sciences, Technology and Medicine 15 (1):50-61.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

6 ( #533,651 of 1,925,795 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #308,701 of 1,925,795 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.