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University of Iowa News Release


March 7, 2007

Photo: An image from the exhibit "So Divinely Built a Mansion: Six Centuries of Human Anatomical Illustration," by Paolo Mascogni. Click here for a high-resolution version of the image.

UI Hosts Exhibit Of Striking Anatomical Illustrations March 20  

The University of Iowa Libraries and the UI History of Medicine Society will sponsor an open house of one of the finest collections of notable anatomical illustrations in the United States from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, in the John Martin Rare Book Room of the UI Hardin Library for the Health Sciences.

The exhibit, "So Divinely Built a Mansion: Six Centuries of Human Anatomical Illustration," highlights the largest and most exquisite anatomical atlas ever produced -- the rare work "Anatomia Universa" completed by Italian scholar Paolo Mascogni in 1823. The atlas is one of only five copies owned by libraries in the United States.

Recently, the UI Libraries Conservation Unit painstakingly remounted 44 hand-colored lithograph plates into acid-free panels to protect Mascogni's work and provide easier access. The UI Libraries also digitized the illustrations, which are available online at

The exhibit will also feature the groundbreaking book that revolutionized the study of anatomy during the Renaissance, "De humani corporis fabrica" (Fabric of the Human Body), produced by Andreas Vesalius in 1543.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served at the open house. The event is part of a series of presentations sponsored by the UI History of Medicine Society.

In addition to the open house, the exhibit will be viewable for limited weekday hours through March 23. To view the exhibit after the open house, visitors should make an appointment by contacting Ed Holtum at 319-335-9154 or

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, contact Holtum.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Holtum or Susan Lawrence at 319-353-4681 or

For directions to Hardin Library, visit

For more information about the UI History of Medicine Society lecture series, visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Becky Soglin, 319-335-6660,; Writer: Krystal Loewe

PROGRAM CONTACT: Susan Lawrence, UI associate professor of history, UI History of Medicine Society, 319-353-4681,