Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 117–138 | Cite as

Authenticity in Anatomy Art

  • Jessica AdkinsEmail author


The aim of this paper is to observe the evolution and evaluate the 'realness' and authenticity in Anatomy Art, an art form I define as one which incorporates accurate anatomical representations of the human body with artistic expression. I examine the art of 17th century wax anatomical models, the preservations of Frederik Ruysch, and Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds plastinates, giving consideration to authenticity of both body and art. I give extra consideration to the works of Body Worlds since the exhibit creator believes he has created anatomical specimens with more educational value and bodily authenticity than ever before. Ultimately, I argue that von Hagens fails to offer Anatomy Art 'real human bodies,' and that the lack of bodily authenticity of his plastinates results in his creations being less pedagogic than he claims.


Anatomy art Body Worlds Authentic body Authentic art Plastinates 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Saint Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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