Museum Blog

A Note from the Library: Franz Anton Mesmer and Hypnotism

Published By Monica Stokes.  Viewing large collections, such as the Thorek Library, is a wonderful way of visualizing how ideas in medicine change and morph into standards that we know today. During the museum’s last Rare Books Conservation Workshop, the conservation team and I were amazed by the literature on Syphilis, diseases of children and some … Continue reading A Note from the Library: Franz Anton Mesmer and Hypnotism

In Search of Chicago’s First Women Doctors

I love the look I receive whenever I have the chance to tell someone that I am the current artist-in-residence at the International Museum of Surgical Science. It’s askance. It’s curious. It’s Huh? Though many are surprised at the existence of the Museum in our city (How esoteric! How macabre!), many more others wonder—But what is a poet supposed to do there? To this, I ask, but what does a poet do anywhere? I am a rummager, a researcher, an alley-cruising scrap-metal collector, an excavator, an archaeologist, a watchful spy, a page-turner, and a note-taker. Continue reading In Search of Chicago’s First Women Doctors

A Note from the Library: Frederick Wood Jones’ “The Principles of Anatomy as Seen in the Hand”

The most remarkable aspect of this book is the fact that nearly half of the pages include some form of infant scribbling. Some scribbles are large and heavy, others tight and soft, but all include an unrestrained confrontation with motor development. I find it so fitting that the author and the scribbler both sought one in the same thing, through the same object—to better understand the hand. Continue reading A Note from the Library: Frederick Wood Jones’ “The Principles of Anatomy as Seen in the Hand”

The Eleanor Robinson Countiss House Celebrates its Centennial

This year, the Museum’s landmark property at 1524 N. Lake Shore Drive celebrates its Centennial. Throughout 2017, we will share monthly updates with readers of this blog – “deep dives” into the history of one of Chicago’s few remaining lake shore mansions, and its former occupants. At present, supporting research is being conducted by dual IMSS Collections Intern – Permanent Collection & Research Intern – Mansion History Abigail Klionsky. As an introduction to this work, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what we know, and what we hope to learn. Continue reading The Eleanor Robinson Countiss House Celebrates its Centennial