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Stanford art students get lesson on the evolution of anatomy illustration

Drew Bourn shows students in Art and Biology a first-edition copy of De humani corporis fabrica, the groundbreaking book on anatomy written in 1543 by the Flemish anato

Kris Newby
Art History

Drew Bourn, PhD, the historical curator at Lane Library’s Medical History Center, gently placed his favorite book in front of a group of art students. It was one of the last surviving volumes of The Comprehensive Book in the Art of Medicine, handwritten by the famous Arab physician Ibn al-Nafis in the 13th century.

This is the eighth year that Gail Wight, MFA, an associate professor of art and art history, has brought her Art and Biology class down to the archive reading room in the basement of the School of Medicine’s Lane Medical Library, a bookish catacomb where Bourn curates the center’s more than 7,000 rare publications.