Emmy Noether-Group
Spaces of visualisation – topographies of knowledge. Early modern anatomical theatres between art, nature and science

Duration: 01.11.2023-31.10.2029


Group leader: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Christine Beese

PhD student: NN

PhD student: NN

Student assistant: Anna Olejniczak

The project examines the role of anatomical theatres as built spaces in the formation of science as an independent realm and in the implementation of epistemological shifts in the early modern period.

As spaces that crossed the borders between art, technology and science, and between sensual experience and rational examination, anatomical theatres are designed to reflect the negotiation and formation of scientific beliefs. As a building type that was established across various nations, they are particularly suitable for analyzing the role of architecture in the visualization and implementation of science as a tangible entity with specific patterns of form, action and interpretation.

With the aim of creating a transnational and entangled history that questions narratives based on „central“ and „peripheral“ places in science, the project focuses on around twenty well-known and lesser-known anatomical theatres in Europe and Latin America. It emphasizes the local impact of the buildings and examines their material presence as a decisive factor in the formation and implementation of specific images of humanity and society, as well as in a European concept of science as a universal model for explaining and ordering the world.

Zentrum für Wissenschaftsforschung, Leopoldina Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften in Halle, Germany

Museum Gustavianum, Uppsala University, Sweden

The THESA Project – THEatre Science Anatomy, Italian Society of the History of Science in Bologna, Italy

Research Project Anatomical Theater: Early Modern and Contemporary Dissection as Investigative Art, Aarhus University, Danmark

Beese, On Swedish Nature. Olof Rudbeck and the Anatomical Theater of Uppsala (1662), congress The Art and Space of Anatomy: Origins, History and Functions of Anatomical Theatres, Società Italiana di Anatomia, Archiginnasio Bologna, 16.-17.11.2023

Beese, Between Allegory and Instrument: The 17th Century London Anatomy Theatres of Inigo Jones and Robert Hooke as Sites of Visualization, congress Vedere l’anatomia tra letteratura e arti: parole, immagini e spazi dalla prima età moderna, Mendrisio, Accademia di architettura / Lugano, Università della Svizzera italiana, 15.-16.05.2023

Zum Thema gemacht. Aushandlung von Wissenschaftlichkeit in den Bildenden Künsten der Frühen Neuzeit. Conception and management of the workshop together with Dr. Sophie-Luise Mävers University of Cologna, online 04.-05.20.2021

Beese, Knowledge-making between Arts and Science. The Integration of Anatomical Theaters into Hospital Architecture in Modena, Frankfurt and Paris in the 18th Century, congress Space and the Hospital: International Network for the History of Hospitals Conference, Lisbon/online 26-28.5.2021

Beese, Science and the public sphere. The London Anatomical Theaters of Inigo Jones and Robert Hooke, section Theatres of Knowledge: On the Theatricalisation of Scientific Practices, Contribution to the annual conference of the Renaissance Society of America Dublin/online 21.04.2021

Beese, Der tote Körper und die Ordnung der Welt. Aufbau und Ausstattung des Anatomischen Theaters der Londoner Barber-Surgeon‘s Guild von 1638, workshop Zur Medialität des Todes, Bibliotheca Hertziana Rome, 23.-25.3.2021

Beese, Neue Erkenntniswege. Architektur und Ausstattung frühneuzeitlicher Anatomietheater in Italien, section Bild Raum-Wissenschaft, Forum Kunstgeschichte Italiens, Universität Erlangen Nürnberg, 23.2.2021

Beese, Remote seclusion or spatial isolation? Anatomy towers in Göttingen and Jena in the 18th century, internation symposium Practices of Privacy: Knowledge in the Making, Centre for Privacy Studies, Copenhagen, 22.-23.04.2020

Beese, Gloire et mémoire – die Architekturmünzen der Pariser Mediziner als Hoffnungsdinge. In: Hoffnung handeln – L’espérance en action. Ein Frühneuzeitblog – carnet de recherche en histoire moderne. 15/09/2023, https://hoffnungfnz.hypotheses.org/1933

Beese, Imaginationsraum oder Sehmaschine? Anatomische Theater als Gegenstand kunsthistorischer Forschung, in: kunsttexte.de, Nr. 1, 2023 (23 Seiten), www.kunsttexte.de. DOI: https://doi.org/10.48633/ksttx.2023.1.94346