Dec 12 2011: Male and Female Paper Anatomical Models (Home Medical Companion, 1930s)

A general anatomical figure was featured here a while ago, in that instance taken from Virtue’s Household Physician (1924), and other entries have included a series of animal anatomies and a rather marvellous fold-out anatomy of the human head. I’m not sure where this obsession with anatomy came from (perhaps the presence of books like these at home in my childhood?) but having found yet another pair of paper fold-out anatomical models – this time showing the distinctions between male and female – it’s impossible not to want to include these, too. The source is another home medical reference book, the Home Medical Companion, probably produced (in a series of five volumes) during the 1920s or 1930s: the outer layer begins with the skin, and takes us (as always) progressively deeper into the body’s interior, until we find ourselves staring into the face of the skeleton. Perhaps it’s also worth noting that there are some beautiful ivory and wax anatomical figures in Klaus Weber’s Already There! exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary, and they’ll remain there until January 8th 2012. I’d highly recommend paying them a visit if you’re in the vicinity of Nottingham between now and then.

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