Coronal Plane, a solo exhibition by Cristin Millett, Penn State School of Visual Arts professor, will be on display January 26 through March 9 at Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College. An artist’s talk will take place January 26, at noon in the Lyceum, Pennsylvania Hall, third floor, with an opening reception to follow that evening from 4:30–6:30 p.m. in the gallery.
This exhibition of a large-scale installation and sculpture by Millett focuses on medical history, specifically the human reproductive system. Titled Coronal Plane, Millett’s installation responds specifically to the anatomical Renaissance of the sixteenth century, when the practice of instructional dissection became the preferred method for the study of human anatomy. Modeled on the round anatomy theaters of the sixteenth through nineteenth-centuries, where the corpse was placed in the center, Millett’s work examines both historical assumptions about the female body as well as contemporary issues of privacy, voyeurism, and medical rights. Millett’s artistic method is grounded firmly in research on the history of medicine, how anatomy is studied, and the design of historical surgical theaters. Millett’s installation can be understood as an intersection of scientific inquiry and contemporary aesthetic observations, and as a questioning of socio-political attitudes about sexuality and reproduction.
Her work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally in solo and group shows, including at the Villa Strozzi in Florence, the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago, the Exploratorium in San Francisco, and the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. For twenty years, Millett has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in sculpture, foundry and installation. In addition to her role as professor in Penn State’s School of Visual Arts, Millett is also an Embedded Faculty Researcher in the Arts + Design Research Incubator at the Pennsylvania State University.