Joanna Ebenstein

Big Ideas

  • Anatomical Venus. The “Venerina” or “Little Venus” wax anatomical model by Clemente Susini, 1782. Photo by Joanna Ebenstein. Courtesy of the Palazzo Poggi, Bologna, Italy. 2010

    Anatomical Venus. The “Venerina” or “Little Venus” wax anatomical model by Clemente Susini, 1782. Photo by Joanna Ebenstein. Courtesy of the Palazzo Poggi, Bologna, Italy. 2010

Past Event


This event was on Thu 8 Mar, 7pm

What is the relationship between art and death?

Artist, writer and co-founder of New York’s Morbid Anatomy Museum, Joanna Ebenstein’s projects are united by a fascination with things that flicker on the edges of categorical divides: death and beauty, eros and thanatos, animate and inanimate.

This talk will trace the evolution of these ideas through a discussion of her projects, past and present. In particular, Ebenstein will put forward her current research into the rituals and material culture surrounding Mexican Folk Saints and what they tell us about the power of objects.

Supported by the Stanley Picker Trust.

About Joanna Ebenstein

Joanna Ebenstein is a Brooklyn-based writer, curator, photographer and graphic designer. She is the creator of the Morbid Anatomy blog, library and event series, and was cofounder and creative director of the recently shuttered Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn. Her books include Death: A Graveside Companion, The Anatomical Venus, The Morbid Anatomy Anthology (with Colin Dickey) and Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy (with Dr Pat Morris). She works regularly with such institutions as The Wellcome Collection and Amsterdam’s Vrolik Museum, and her writing and photography have been published and exhibited internationally. Her work explores the intersections of art and medicine, death and culture, and the objective and subjective.

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