Anatomy of an Athlete – Elite Sport, Surgery and Medical Art at the Hunterian Museum

By Ben Miller | 07 September 2012
An image of a sculpture of the cast head of a female athlete in motion
Emily Evans, Hurdles 2© Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons
Exhibition Preview: Anatomy of an Athlete – Elite sport, Surgery and Medical Art, Hunterian Museum, London, until December 21 2012

A video installation in this exhibition, in which canoeists spring into action, struck gold at the start of August. Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie, two of the rowers featured, were winning their medals for Team GB just after this dissection of their muscular efforts - portraying them training at the end of 2011 - opened.

A photo of an athlete with prosphetic legs and an upper torso in anatomical detail
Denise Smith and Richard Neave, The Sprinter© Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons
The rest of the show, devised with the Medical Artists’ Association of Great Britain, is a series of artworks made to measure the anatomy and physiology of elite athletes across different sporting disciplines, paying homage to sports and exercise medicine and offering particular insight into the frequently-miraculous surgery involved.

The latest orthopaedic and prosthetic developments are revealed alongside the importance training plays in muscle development, just to remind anyone yet to begin their path to Adonic athleticism in time for Rio 2014.

Leading medical artists turn their gaze to running, hurdling, hockey and other Olympic and Paralympic sports, shaping sculpture, watercolours and moving image installations as part of the display.

  • Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm. Admission free.
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