Museum partnership in running for prize

Tuesday 27 February 2007

An innovative museums project for which the University of St Andrews was a founding partner is in the running for the UK’s largest single art prize.

“Scotland & Medicine: Collections & Connections” brings together leading medical museum, library and archive collections from throughout Scotland. Founded in 2004, its main goal is to promote Scotland’s significant role in the history of medicine.

The project is on the long-list of ten nominations for the Gulbenkian Prize, a £100,000 award for excellence in museums and galleries and the largest single such prize in the UK. The Prize is awarded to a museum or gallery that “best demonstrates a track record of imagination, innovation and excellence” in the previous year.

Helen Rawson, Curator of Museum Collections for the University of St Andrews, sits on the project’s Board of Management.

She said, ” ‘Scotland and Medicine’ provides a wonderful opportunity to place often hidden anatomical collections firmly in the public domain. The prize nomination recognises the innovative nature of the project and the dedication and enthusiasm of all the participants in making these collections more accessible. ”

The partnership’s most high profile event so far is “Anatomy Acts,¿ a touring exhibition of rare and fascinating anatomical artefacts, including many from St Andrews. The exhibition was displayed at the University’s Gateway Galleries and the Lamb Gallery at Dundee University, from October 2006 – January 2007, after opening in the City Arts Centre, Edinburgh.

Among the rare artefacts from the Library and Museum Collections units at St Andrews included in the exhibition was a copy of the 16th century anatomical text De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem by Andreas Versalius, formerly used in teaching at St Andrews, and intricate wax models of the ear, hand and skull made about 100 years ago by Tramond of Paris.

The exhibition in St Andrews was accompanied by a programme of events, including a talk on 3D vision by Professor Julie Harris of the School of Psychology, ‘Seeing with Sound’ by Tom Brown, inventor of direct contact ultrasound scanning, and a poetry reading by Kathleen Jamie of the School of English. Other outputs of Scotland & Medicine include two websites ( and and a series of publicity leaflets highlighting medical history in different parts of the country – with Helen Rawson co-authoring the leaflet on Fife and Tayside.

The short list of candidates for the Gulbenkian Prize is announced in April, and the winner will be awarded on 24 May.



For further information on the University’s medical collections, contact Helen Rawson on hcr1@st- or 01334 462417.

For further information on Scotland & Medicine, contact Siobhan McConnachie on [email protected] or 0131 527 1633

For further information on the Gulbenkian Prize, visit or contact Rebecca Salt on [email protected] or 0131 558 8851



Issued by Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact 01334 462529

Ref: Anatomy Acts 270207

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