SUArt Galleries Presents ‘Hidden Beauty: Exploring the Aesthetics Of Medical Science’
The Syracuse University Art Galleries is presenting “Hidden Beauty: Exploring the Aesthetics of Medical Science,” on view through March 9. Organized by Norman Barker of John Hopkins University and Dr. Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, this exhibition features 50 photographic images captured at the microscopic level, created by medical professionals. This collaborative project by a scientist and an artist asks the reader to consider the aesthetics of human disease, both within and beyond the context of our preconceived social systems.
The exhibition is on view in the Shaffer Art Building. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; and Thursdays 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The gallery is closed on University holidays. The SUArt Galleries will host a gallery reception from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1. Patrons are welcome to view the exhibition until the gallery closes at 8 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. A fully illustrated exhibition catalog will be available for sale in the Gallery Shop.
Many have heard the phrase ”A picture is worth a thousand words.” This is no less true for images in medicine that are routinely used to diagnose disease. Images viewed by a radiologist relay critical information, such as the anatomy of internal organs or the presence of a lesion signifying disease. Those viewed by a pathologist indicate whether a tissue is normal or abnormal at the microscopic level, and if a tumor, whether it is benign or malignant.
Scientific images are equally informative and arguably are the most important component of a research study. These images allow simple visual representations of complex scientific datasets or illustrate how variations of an experimental condition can impact cellular behavior.
What is often not verbalized, or perhaps even realized, is how often medical and scientific images are pleasing to look at for their own inherent qualities. For example, colors are often used to highlight differences between normal and diseased tissues or to direct the reader’s attention to features of an image or experiment that are most important. However, the colors themselves and the patterns and shapes the colors form, can themselves be fascinating, even in the absence of knowledge of the underlying biology or pathology. Normal tissues are organized in extremely specific and reproducible ways, and in diseased tissues this organization is lost, leading to random and unique patterns that can be visually appealing. “Hidden Beauty” has amassed an impressive collection of such images. They can be appreciated by scientists and clinicians for the stories that they tell. But they can be equally appreciated by anyone for the sheer beauty they convey and the wonders of nature that they illustrate.
All programs are free and open to the public. For parking information, please visit parking.syr.edu
Gallery Tour of “Hidden Beauty” with Domenic Iacono, director of the SUArt Galleries
Wednesday, Feb. 14, 12: 15 p.m.
“The Wonder of the Scientific Image”
Guest Lecture by Norman Barker
Thursday, Feb. 22, 5:30 p.m.
106 Life Sciences Complex
“Can Scientific Photographs be Art?”
Guest Lecture by Norman Barker
Friday, Feb. 23, 12:15 p.m.
About Syracuse University
Founded in 1870, Syracuse University is a private international research university dedicated to advancing knowledge and fostering student success through teaching excellence, rigorous scholarship and interdisciplinary research. Comprising 11 academic schools and colleges, the University has a long legacy of excellence in the liberal arts, sciences and professional disciplines that prepares students for the complex challenges and emerging opportunities of a rapidly changing world. Students enjoy the resources of a 270-acre main campus and extended campus venues in major national metropolitan hubs and across three continents. Syracuse’s student body is among the most diverse for an institution of its kind across multiple dimensions, and students typically represent all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Syracuse also has a long legacy of supporting veterans and is home to the nationally recognized Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the first university-based institute in the U.S. focused on addressing the unique needs of veterans and their families.