…our History of Medicine reading room, that is.
Thanks to the generosity of Richard I. Burton, M.D., we have two, exquisite display cabinets. Dr. Burton also donated a collection of historical portraits and books, collected by him and his father, Kenneth G. Burton, M.D. (1905-1988).
We plan to unveil some of the 17th- to 19th-century framed prints from the Burton gift along with selections from our own rare book collection.
Currently on display is our first edition (1543) of Andreas Vesalius’ De fabrica corporis humani. This is the most important medical book published during the Renaissance and one of the most influential illustrated books in any discipline or period.
Our copy of the Fabrica is on display (M-F, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.) with a 19th-century engraved print from the Burton collection depicting Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) performing a dissection.
Edouard Hamman’s 1849 painting, reproduced as a lithograph by Adolphe Mouilleron in the early 1850s, suggests Vesalius’s conscientious struggle with religion. Religious and cultural forces opposed dissection in Vesalius’s time.
He is pictured as if conflicted in thought, looking at a crucifix on the wall to his right. A skull and several large books suggest his research materials. His dissecting tools and research materials are at hand.
In the coming months we’ll be showing you more treasures from these collections, now that we have an environmentally safe and secure location to do so. Thank you, Dr. Burton!