Public event celebrating anatomist Vesalius set for March 5

Published 02-24-2015

The frontispiece of Vesalius' "De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem," published in 1543. Image credit: Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

An event commemorating the 500th birthday of anatomist and physician Andreas Vesalius will be held in the Emory University School of Medicine’s Williams Medical Education Building, Lecture Auditorium Room 120, from 12-2:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, 2015.

The program will begin with lunch at noon across from the lecture room, followed at 12:30 p.m. by opening remarks from Emory faculty member Dr. Robert Gaynes and two lectures by special guests.

Theo Dirix, consul at the Embassy of Belgium in Athens, Greece, and author of the book “In Search of Andreas Vesalius: The Quest for the Lost Grave,” will conduct the first lecture. The second is by Pascale Pollier, a biomedical artist who is seeking the lost remains of Vesalius (December 31, 1515 – October 15, 1564). She is currently sculpting a life-size reconstruction of Vesalius, which will be cast in bronze and placed on display on Zakynthos Island in Greece, where the famed anatomist died.

On display at the event will be Emory's 1543 copy of “De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem” by Vesalius, one of history’s most influential books on human anatomy, as well as the two-volume annotated translation of that work, “The Fabric of the Human Body,” produced by Karger Publishers in 2014.

The program is in conjunction with the Fabrica Vitae touring exhibition that supports the new book, which is taking place primarily in Europe but also includes a stop at Saint Louis University. The event at Emory is co-sponsored by the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library and the Consulate General of Belgium in Atlanta.

“We are pleased to be included as a stop on the touring exhibition about the fabric of life inspired by Andreas Vesalius,” says Sandra Franklin, director of Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library. “The consul general at the Belgian consulate in Atlanta saw our copy of ‘De Humani Corporis Fabrica’ in our ‘Medical Treasures at Emory’ exhibit in 2013, and wanted us to be included as a part of this touring exhibition.”

The Emory School of Medicine’s Williams Medical Education Building is located at 100 Woodruff Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322. Fee parking is available at the Michael Street parking deck, 550 Houston Mill Rd., or visitors can travel to campus via shuttle from North DeKalb Mall and the building will be on the left. For more information about the event, please contact the administration office of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library at 404-727-5820.