What is Art in Anatomy?

What is Art in Anatomy?

Ashley Davidoff Copyright 2015

What is Art?

Art is a creative human endeavor that appeals to the senses.

What is Anatomy?

Anatomy is the structural science of biology -or the structural science of living organisms.

What is art in anatomy?

Art in anatomy therefore is the creative expression of the structural form of life, and specifically life in human anatomy.

By this definition therefore, the web site combines the disciplines of art and science, providing licence for the artist to add color to the black and white facts of science.

Anatomy is within us and all around us.  It is with us when we sleep and when we wake up- when we are sad and lonely or when we are happy and ecstatic.  It has been with us ever since our predecessors roamed the earth, and will be with us forever.  It is always changing as one evolutionary cycle passes to the next, but also from one nanosecond to the next as we live and breath.  The organs through the human experience can tell the story of history, literature, culture, and of daily life.  It is up to the artist to help these structures tell the story from their perspective.  All these factors provide rich resources of inspiration for the artist.

As a physician and radiologist I have stared in awe at the structures and workings of the human body over a 45 year career.  I have observed them in the peak of health and performance and at their most miserable times including dying moments.

Each year I have chosen to explore the structural depths of an organ, including its anatomy, physiology and the diseases that affect it – how we diagnose the diseases anfd how we treat them.  In addition I delved into the their cultural history, associations in literature poetry and art, as well as the history of our scientific knowledge .  As a result we became friends – and was inspired to write poetry about my new friend.  The matrerial collected was presented as an interdisciplinary web based exhibit at the Radiologicl Society of North America for which it won numerous awards.

The artwork presented in AiA is a result of the years spent in the preparation for these meetings as well as a coincident educational forum called The Common Vein (thecommonvein.com) in which images and imagerey are used to facilitate and augment medical education.


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