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Russell Johnson on Five Centuries of Collecting Vesaliana

December 15, 2023 @ 12:00 pm CST

Sponsored by The Caxton Club

When/Where: 12/15/2023 12:00 PM CT/1:00 PM ET Zoom presentation is free and open to all. Preregistration required via website.

Register here: https://caxtonclub.org/event-5494985


December Midday Program

If Cole Porter had been penning tunes during the sixteenth century he might have jumped on the Andreas Vesalius bandwagon to come up with a song titled “I’ll Draw What’s Under Your Skin.”

Vesalius’s anatomical masterwork De humani corporis fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body) was a medical sensation — and a boon to publisher/printers who were not in the least bit queasy about what its intricate plates revealed nor about pirating this seminal work.

Published at a time when physicians were still arguing about the best place to do their bloodletting, De humani was a leap forward in anatomical understanding.

You’ll want to join us in the operating theatre as Russell Johnson, Curator for History of Medicine and the Sciences at UCLA Special Collections peels back (so to speak) the story of this remarkable publication and introduces you to the John A. Benjamin collection.

It’s a tale of first editions, superb printing, collecting twists and turns, booksellers’ correspondence and invoices, an oil painting with a curious history, and even a later volume with a provenance that may not be providential. You’ll also learn about how collecting Vesaliana continues today, with unlikely prizes that range from comic books to postage stamps.

Don’t wait for this session to fill or you may wind up registering in vein!

Zoom presentation is free and open to all.

Zoom begins at 12:00PM CT/1:00 PM ET. Preregistration required via website.

Please forward this notice to anyone who may find it of interest.



December 15, 2023
12:00 pm CST
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