Scholarly & Creative

May 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Zimmerman’s Thesis Reflects on Abnormalities, Exploitation

By Heather C. Mick ’11



As part of the creative portion of her Capstone Project, Amie Zimmerman ’10 created an exhibit that explored physical abnormalities stemming from gene mutations. As a Scientific Illustration major, Zimmerman focused on the medical and ethical treatment of individuals born with birth defects. From the research she conducted, Zimmerman utilized digital paintings, sculptures, and molds to recreate the physical anomalies that were popularized during the Victorian era.

“My exhibition is a recreation of a collection of specimens based on freak shows that were highly popular during the Victorian Era,” says Zimmerman. “Each specimen reflects one of the five conditions I focused I on: hypertrichosis, craniopagus parasiticus, primordial dwarfism, human horn growth, and Proteus Syndrome.  These recreations remind us of an era when some people were looked at as specimens, not individuals, and who were collected and exploited everyday of their lives for profit.”

After graduation, Zimmerman will be staying in the local Glenside, Pa., area. She will act as the artistic consultant of public programs at the Academy of Natural Sciences during the year. Ultimately, Zimmerman hopes to attend Johns Hopkins University for Medical Illustration once her role at the Academy of Natural Sciences is complete.

Zimmerman’s exhibit as well as other senior Capstone Projects can be viewed in the Spruance Fine Arts Center until Friday, May 21, 2010, on Arcadia University’s campus. Artwork on display includes painting, drawing, ceramics, scientific illustration, sculpture, photography, graphic design, interior design, metals and jewelry, art history, and art therapy.



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