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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Art

Undergraduate Course: Anatomy and Art (ARTX08053)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe study of anatomy has been part of traditional art education for hundreds of years. This course aims to address not only the historical basis of this discipline but also consider contemporary concepts and responses related to the human body.

Edinburgh is an important centre for the research and teaching of medicine and we are lucky to have access to important collections relating to anatomy at both the University of Edinburgh School of Medicine and Surgeons' Hall Museum. The School of Medicine collection is a mixture of historical and modern objects & artefacts which help explain anatomy to medical students. The collection at Surgeons' Hall explores surgery, injury and pathology and comprises specimens and preparations as well as models and objects related to the history of surgery 7 dentistry. We also have a collection of anatomy teaching objects here at eca: anatomical casts including the rare ecorche known as 'Smugglerius', skeletons, anatomy posters & diagrams, photographs, slides and books. We will use all of these resources in this course.
Course description The course will start with structured life drawing and anatomy classes, research visits and discussion. Students are expected to create their own anatomy reference book containing notes and drawings from the classes and visits and a portfolio of life drawings. Beyond the structured classes and visits students are asked to consider how they might research, focus on and develop a self-motivated project which engages with more particular ideas, such as:
+ anatomy as it relates to study of the human form through life drawing
+ the aesthetics and form of anatomy teaching materials
+ ethical issues relating to the exhibiting of human remains
+ structures, instruments and objects used in medicine
+ comparative anatomy (human and animal) and the evolution of vertebrate biology
+ life and death in both medical and cultural contexts

Aims of the course:
To enable students to gain an understanding of human anatomy including the skeleton and superficial musculature
To encourage students to think broadly about the subject of human anatomy and its contexts
To allow students to undertake a personal art project related to anatomy
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only available to students on a the following programmes: Art, Fine Art, Intermedia, Painting, Photography or Sculpture
Additional Costs materials costs
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Research and investigate anatomical forms and related concepts.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of human anatomy through drawing and other art practices.
  3. Consolidate a personally driven project related to the subject.
Reading List
Kemp, Dawn & Barnes, Sarah: Surgeons' Hall A Museum Anthology, 2009
Kemp, Dawn & Patrizio, Andrew: Anatomy acts : how we come to know ourselves, 2006
Thomson, Arthur: A Handbook of Anatomy for Art Students, 2006
Barcsay, Jeno: Anatomy for the Artist, 2006
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Drawing and observational skills
Ability to plan, develop and resolve a personally motivated project
Research skills: library based, studio based, through use of collections and museum resources
Special Arrangements There will be optional additional visits for students to view and draw human dissections at the School of Biomedical Sciences.
Study Abroad n/a
KeywordsAnatomy,life drawing,contemporary art
Course organiserMs Joan Smith
Tel: (0131 6)51 5917
Course secretaryMiss Hannah Morrison
Tel: (0131 6)51 5763
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