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Visible Proofs: Forensic Views of the Body


National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health


Bethesda, MD

This exhibit explores the powerful effects that views of the dead body have on us, and the methods that scientists have developed to see into the bodies of victims—to make "visible proofs" that are usable in legal contexts. Because this show exhibited the telling remains of victims of trauma and suspected poison, respectful presentation and careful conservation measures were two prime concerns. H+R worked closely with library staff to develop an appropriate treatment, which included specialty casework, atmospheric backdrops, views into lab settings and crime scenes and a virtual autopsy table. Visible Proofs was the first of a series of exhibits completed for the Library. H+R also designed a follow-up exhibit, several banner shows and an outdoor totem pole. Our latest work for NLM was to transform their mid-century, light-filled atrium into a permanent, conservation-friendly exhibit space.

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