An Illustrated Lecture with Christina Welch, Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Winchester, UK
Date: Thursday, May 7th
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn NY
Tonight's presentation will explore 38 "transi," or carved cadaver sculptures, found in England. Dating to ca.1423-1588, they depict the religious elite and wealthy land-owners and merchants, naked, emaciated, and laying their burial shroud, with only a strategically placed hand or piece of cloth to protect their modesty. Interestingly, they are largely anatomically accurate for their day: a time when dissection was still not common, and anatomy in its infancy on the continent and unheard of in England. By putting these sculptures into their historical and socio-religious context, this talks aims to uncover a hidden history of anatomy that operated to service the requirements of the prosperous in demonstrating their inner spiritual humility and literally buy them time out of the pains of purgatory.
Dr Christina Welch is a senior lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Winchester, UK. She leads a Distance Learning Masters degree in Death, Religion and Culture (http://www.winchester.ac.uk/Studyhere/Pages/ma-death-religion-and-culture.aspx), and has research interests in the connection between religions and visual/material culture, especially in regard to death.
She has two current research projects relating specifically to mortality; religion, gender and the social context of mortality in Death and the Maiden imagery (a blog can be accessed here [see February post] http://deadmaidens.com/blog/), and the socio-religious (and anatomical) context of late-medieval carved cadaver sculptures in Britain (see blog post here https://trswinchester.wordpress.com/2014/12/).