As early as the 1840s, against admonishments to maintain secrecy, medical students and their instructors began to create photographic images of themselves centered around cadavers in dissecting rooms. This would become one of the most ubiquitous and archetypal forms of medical portraiture before 1930, and yet it vanished almost completely after 1950. These photographs were made in a surprising variety of forms, from "cartes de visite" to postcards to staged dark humor scenes. "Dissection" features 135 extraordinary examples of this collaboration of early photography and medicine, with illuminating essays by two experts on the subject.
Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine, 1880-1930