The Foetus Goes Public: Images of the Unborn from the Middle Ages to the Twenty-First Century

Historical artwork of a human foetus by the Italian artist and scientist, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

An exhibition of the history of the public images of embryos and foetuses will take place in the Holliday Building at Durham University’s Queen’s Campus in Stockton-on-Tees from Friday 7th October until Friday 9th December.

‘The Foetus Goes Public’ looks at how images of embryos and foetuses shape our understanding of life and reproduction.This exhibition tells the fascinating story of how the foetus moved from obscure Medieval manuscripts to become a public icon in the twentieth century that, today, is available to everyone at anytime through the internet.

Dr Lutz Sauerteig from the Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease will officially open the exhibition on 7th October at 1.30 pm.

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of public lectures:

  • Prof John McLachlan (School of Medicine and Health), ‘Imagining the Embryo’ (21 October, 12.45pm, Holliday Building, Room A011).
  • Dr Nadja Reissland (Department of Psychology), ‘Fetal Crying: Is the Fetal Cry Face Gestalt Associated with Prenatal Depression and Attachment?’ (11 November, 10.00 am, Wolfson Research Institute, Room F009).
  • Dr Sebastian Pranghofer (CHMD and Department of Philosophy), ‘Personhood Before Birth? Early Modern Images of the Unborn’ (25 November, 12.45pm, Holliday Building, Room A015/016).

Entry to the exhibition and the lectures is free. For more information, contact Rachel Simpson on telephone 0191 3340700 or email: or visit the Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease.


1 Comment

diabetic77 · September 29, 2011 at 12:44 am

Amazing how far medicine and it’s understanding of the human body have come over 1500 years. Even more astonishing the breakthroughs we have made in the last 100 years. If I wasn’t located down in Florida, so far away, I would have loved to come and visit the exhibit.

On a side note, I would love to exchange links with you on my “Medical Noise” blog. Let me know how you want the text to be listed and get back with me. I also have a good friend in the medical supply community, JRSmedical, that is interested in getting listed on the “Blog Sites & Links we like” portion of the navigation of your blog. Look forward to hearing from you.

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