The Hendrick’s Lecture Series

“It is true, the spoken word enlightens both the spirit and the soul. Indeed, the HENDRICK’S Master Distiller can often be heard talking at length to her ‘two little sweeties’ – the delightful and peculiarly small copper pot stills from which the most unusual gin flows.”

Face lift or face reconstruction? Redesigning the Museum Vrolik, Amsterdam’s anatomical museum
An illustrated lecture with Dr. Laurens de Rooy, curator of the Museum Vrolik in Amsterdam

24th June 2013
Doors at 6:30 / Talk begins at 7:00 pm
Ticket price £7
Two skeletons of dwarfs, rare Siamese twins, cyclops and sirens, dozens of pathologically deformed bones, the giant skull of a grown man with hydrocephalus, the skeleton of the lion once owned by king Louis Napoleon, as well as the organs of a babirusa, Tasmanian devil and tree kangaroo – rare animals that died in the Amsterdam zoo ‘Artis’ shortly before their dissection. Counting more than five thousand preparations and specimens, the Museum Vrolikianum, the private collection of father Gerard (1775-1859) and his son Willem Vrolik (1801-1863), was an amazing object of interest one hundred and fifty years ago. In the 1840s and 50s this museum, established in Gerard’s stately mansion on the river Amstel, grew into a famous collection that attracted admiring scientists from both the Netherlands and abroad. After the Vrolik era, the museum was expanded with new collections by succeeding anatomists and the museum now houses more than 10,000 anatomical specimens. Since 1984, the museum has been located in the academic Hospital of the University of Amsterdam. In 2009 the museum collections were portrayed by the photographer Hans van den Bogaard for the book Forces of Form. This book was the starting point for the creation of a new ‘aesthetic’ of the museum and its collection, eventually resulting in the grand reopening of the renovated and redesigned permanent exhibition in September 2012. For the first time since the death of father and son Vrolik, all of their scientific interests – the animal anatomy, the congenital malformations and the pathologically deformed human skeletons can all be viewed together, thus giving an impression of what that mid-19th century anatomy was all about. In this talk, Museum Vrolik curator will take you on a guided tour of the new museum, and give an overview of all the other aspects of the ‘new’ Museum Vrolik.

Dr. Laurens de Rooy
Dr. Laurens de Rooy (b. 1974) works as a curator of the Museum Vrolik in the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam. He studie Medical Biology, specializing in the history of science and museology. during his internship he researched the collection of father and son Vrolik. In 2009 he obtained his PhD in medical history.

The Last Tuesday Society is honoured to house this exhibition and lecture series cultivated in collaboration with Joanna Ebenstein of the rightfully venerated ‘Morbid Anatomy’ Library, Museum & Blog.

Talks take place at The Last Tuesday Society at 11 Mare Street, London, E8 4RP – please click here to buy tickets