Showing posts with label Paris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paris. Show all posts

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Letter of the Day: June 10

Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, June 10, 1870

Dear Sir;

We are in receipt of a letter from Prof Quatrefages, of Paris, announcing the transmission to us of casts of the celebrated Cro-magnon crania, that has excited so much interest in France during the last few months, and hope, ere long, to have the pleasure of adding these important archaeological specimens to the Museum under your charge. We are promised full series of similar objects and are allowed to hope even that, in time, we will be possessors of some originals. We find an excellent feeling towards the Institution on the part of the archaeologists of Paris and disposition to place us in the first rank in the distribution of collections.

The Professor asks whether we can send him crania from our American races, definitely named by tribes, and also those of the mound builders, and if you can spare any specimens of the kind I am sure it would be a gratification to Prof. Henry to have you supply them; a satisfactory return will, certainly, be made for whatever may be sent. We are just packing our boxes for Paris and if you will forward to us a few such objects for the Ethnological Cabinet of Paris it will give us pleasure to forward them at once.

We are at present, prosecuting an exploration of Mounds in Tennessee from which we have reasonable grounds for expecting a number of crania. We have given injunctions to those in charge of the exploration to spare no pains in securing specimens and in preventing their being injured by digging..

I am,
Very truly yours,
Spencer F Baird
Asst. Sect. in charge.

Dr. Geo: A. Otis,
Army Medical Museum

Monday, March 9, 2009

Post recommends "ancient museum of veterinary science, complete with flayed human cadavers"

See "A Brush With The Paris Art Scene: Out-of-the-Way Sites Show Off The Avant-Garde Side of the City," By Blake Gopnik, Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, March 8, 2009; Page F01 for his recommendation of the 250-year-old National Veterinary School's museum. Here's the details on visiting from the Post -

WHAT TO DO: National Veterinary School/Fragonard Museum (7 Avenue du General de Gaulle, Alfort, 011-33-(0)1-43-96-71-72, Admission about $8.75, younger than 18 free.

Any of our readers ever been there?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Memorial to French doctors

This relief is on an exterior wall at the Musée d'Histoire de la Médecine in Paris, kind of tucked away and probably not noticed much. I'm glad I found it. It's a memorial to the 1800 doctors who gave their lives for their country in World War 1.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mememto Mori, or, The Head of Janus

I made a rewarding visit to the Musée d'Histoire de la Médecine in Paris last month, but thoroughly grossing out my husband with its extensive exhibits of surgical tools, including kidney stone extractors. Not something that a man who has had a kidney stone especially wants to look at. I've not had kidney stones, and I found the tools and illustrations painful to look at, and I've seen some pretty gross things in the course of my job. Do you want to see them? Next time.

I really liked this ivory carving from the 17th century, called the Head of Janus. I don't know if the Catholic school I went to didn't teach mythology as a matter of theology or what, but I never learned about the myths. So wikipedia to the rescue: "Janus was usually depicted with two heads (not faces) looking in opposite directions, and was frequently used to symbolize change and transitions such as the progression of past to future, of one condition to another, of one vision to another, the growing up of young people, and of one universe to another. He was also known as the figure representing time because he could see into the past with one face and into the future with the other."

There's nothing that says transition from one condition to another like a face on one side and a skull on the other.