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November 2, 2007–January 18, 2008
Rosemary Feit Covey, “Internal Medicine”
Barbara Kendrick, “Based on a True Story”


These artists visually interpret the bodily experiences of disease and pain in their artwork.

Rosemary Feit Covey, David with Astrocytes

“Internal Medicine”features three distinct series of Feit Covey’s wood engravings. The Brain Tumor series was commissioned by tumor patient David Craig Welch shortly after he was diagnosed in order to depict his experiences while undergoing major surgery and other medical procedures, whereas the Porcupine Girl series of prints personifies various aspects of the artist’s own experience with a life-threatening medical condition. In the third series, called Vanitas, Vanitas, Feit Covey draws upon a 17th-century Dutch type of still life that emphasized the fleetingness of life in order to explore the global impact of health and illness in the modern world. ”In all three sets of work I have combined personal emotions with extensive observation, reading, and research. I assimilate this scientific and historical data rather than studying it on a purely intellectual level. It is a deeply internal process that is ultimately externalized through the act of engraving,” she says.

Feit Covey currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia, where her public installation The 0 Project invites worldwide participation in any form viewers desire. A catalog of her work will be available for purchase in the Museum store throughout the course of the exhibition. For more information about Feit Covey and her art, visit www.rosemarycovey.com.


Barbara Kendrick, Forecast(detail)

“Based on a True Story” comprises colored pencil, watercolor, and mixed-media “drawings” that Kendrick creates in order to portray the feeling of nerve pain, a chronic condition she developed as the result of a severe case of shingles in 1993. To illustrate the changes in perception she experiences during bouts of this pain, which can be brought on by the slightest of breezes, Kendrick takes poetic license with anatomy, recombining and jumbling images of the brain, nervous system, and cellular structures: “Scientific images tangle with doodles. I think of it as emotional mapping, where certainty and synthesis are suspended, lost in a fluidity of mark and image-making,” she says.

A resident of Champaign, Illinois, Kendrick is a Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois. She has exhibited her work in France, England, and Greece, as well as throughout the United States.


These exhibitions are the latest in the Museum’s “Anatomy in the Gallery” series, which has showcased medically themed contemporary art in quarterly paired exhibitions since 1998. The Museum exhibits this artwork along with thousands of historical artifacts from its permanent collection, including surgical instruments as well as a number of paintings, drawings, and sculptures, in accordance with its mission: to enrich the lives of its visitors by enhancing their appreciation and understanding of medicine.



This project is partially sponsored by a CityArts Program 2 grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.


1524 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60610 USA
fax 312.642.9516


Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10 am to 4 pm
Wednesday: 10 am to 4 pm
Thursday: 10 am to 4 pm
Friday: 10 am to 4 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm

Last admission will be taken one hour before the closing time.