Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Barry Rosenberg; Sylvia Schafer

Field of Study

Art History


Master of Arts

Open Access

Campus Access


Over two hundred licensed creations - plastinated human and animal bodies and specimens - are currently on view in each of seven, independently themed exhibits belonging to Gunther von Hagen’s Body Worlds. While academic readers typically exclude these bodies from conversations of art history, in position, one body, Reclining Pregnant Woman, assumes a particularly referential pose from art historical and archetypal Venuses. She is the only female plastinate frozen, cut and flayed in mid-labor, (with child). Yet, when read in comparison with the seminal works of postmodern feminist theory, certain resonances show that formal and contextual applications of visual discourse upon this body become helpful – not only to resuscitate iconographic value, but also to challenge it.

Major Advisor

Alexis L. Boylan