Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.
Author Affiliation: Department of Life Science, John A. Logan College, Carterville, Illinois (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Bones Books & Bell Jars is a gorgeous photographic tour of the Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia as well as a creative tour de force. The flavor of the book is reverential, historical, and on occasion a tad spooky. Think Twilight Zone meets Antiques Roadshow. The photography is imaginative. The use of only black-and-white photographs imparts a stark, retro look to the book. Yet mysteriously the work comes alive, more akin to a living documentary than a static collection of still life photographs. Some of the pictures are haunting—a wax model (moulage) of a child's face studded with molluscum contagiosum, a disarticulated fetal skeleton, and an anencephalic fetus, for example.
Miksanek T. Bones Books & Bell Jars: Photographs of the Mütter Museum Collection. JAMA. 2012;308(19):2039-2040. doi:10.1001/jama.308.19.2039