Document Actions

Rebecca McKay

Pathological Bodies and Deviant Art: 20th century medical illustrations as seen through an analysis of the work of Osman Berberović.

Centred around the study of a Croatian artist working in an oncology department in Zagreb from the 1970s to the 1990s, this thesis takes a fresh approach to a period of 'medical art' that has often been omitted, dismissed or trivialised in critical literature. Through an analysis of style in production, object and consumption, this research illuminates a period of expansion and development in medical illustration. It demonstrates how medical illustrations reacted to changing ideologies in medicine and the visual arts, thereby highlighting the importance of social and contextual factors on our visual understanding of medicine and its products. Furthermore, as this thesis considers that an analysis of style extends to the consumption or viewing of images, the dissertation will also approach questions of spectatorship and the human experience of viewing and creating images of morbid phenomena.

Supervisor: Dr Suzannah Biernoff.