People

Dr Natasha Ruiz-Gomez

Senior Lecturer
School of Philosophy and Art History
Dr Natasha Ruiz-Gomez
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872999

  • Location

    6.131, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Tuesdays 11 am - 12 pm and Thursdays 1:30 - 2:30 pm

Profile

Biography

Natasha Ruiz-Gomez specialises in French art of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and is especially interested in the intersection of art and medicine. She received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania; her doctoral thesis proposed a new reading of Auguste Rodin's sculpture based on an examination of the science of the time. Her interdisciplinary scholarship has appeared in Art History, Medical Humanities, Modern and Contemporary France, Thresholds and various anthologies, as well as in a recent exhibition catalogue of the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen. She is currently serving as Field Editor for Nineteenth-Century Books for caa.reviews. Natasha has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, including a Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust, a five-year Research Councils UK Fellowship and a Kress Curatorial Fellowship at the Brooklyn Museum. She was awarded a Medical Humanities Small Grant from the Wellcome Trust to co-host a conference in June 2014 entitled Collect, Exchange, Display: Artistic Practice and the Medical Museum at the Hunterian Museum, London. She is also passionate about teaching and was honoured with a Deans Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Graduate Student by the University of Pennsylvania. Her current book project examines the scientific artworks of Dr Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893) and the Salpetriere School, with particular attention to the work of Dr Paul Richer (1849-1933). Charcot became one of the founders of modern neurology by studying the patients of the living pathological museum, as he called it, of the Hopital de la Salpetriere in Paris, where he was head of the medical service for more than thirty years. Charcot nurtured the artistic sensibilities of the many doctors who worked under him, especially those of Richer, who was one of the most important members of the Salpetriere School and who would later spend the first three decades of the twentieth century as Professor of Anatomy at the Ecole des beaux-arts. In their drawings, photographs and sculptures, they demonstrated a clear engagement with contemporary artistic practices and discourses, all the while protesting their own objectivity. Natasha's project questions the elasticity of the concept of objectivity, avowed by the doctors at the Salpetriere even as they employed artistic skill, and thereby subjective interpretation, to visualise pathology. Natasha welcomes proposals for doctoral projects that examine the art of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially sculpture and photography, or that engage with the intersection of art and science in a historical context.

Qualifications

  • PhD in the History of Art University of Pennsylvania,

  • MA in the History of Art University of Pennsylvania,

  • BA Columbia University,

Appointments

University of Essex

  • Director of Education, SPAH, University of Essex (1/1/2018 - present)

  • Director of Undergraduate Studies (Art History), SPAH, University of Essex (1/1/2018 - present)

  • Director of Global Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies Centre, University of Essex (1/1/2018 - present)

Other academic

  • Senior Lecturer, SPAH, University of Essex (1/10/2016 - present)

  • Lecturer, SPAH, University of Essex (1/1/2013 - 30/9/2016)

  • RCUK Fellow, Art History and Theory, University of Essex (1/1/2008 - 31/12/2012)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Art and science/medicine

Open to supervise

Auguste Rodin's oeuvre

Open to supervise

Nineteenth-century French sculpture

Open to supervise

Architecture and urban planning in nineteenth-century Paris

Open to supervise

Auguste Rodin and science

Open to supervise

Jean-Martin Charcot and art

Open to supervise

Objectivity and medical imagery

Open to supervise

Medical portraiture

Open to supervise

Nineteenth-century medical photography

Open to supervise

Theories of degeneration and genius

Open to supervise

Current research

The Scientific Artworks of Doctor Jean-Martin Charcot and the Salpêtrière School: Visual Culture and Pathology in fin-de-siècle France

Book Manuscript

Auguste Rodin, Against Nature (working title)

Book in progress

Conferences and presentations

‘Artistry and the Spaces of Medicine’

Association for Art History annual conference, Brighton, United Kingdom, 4/4/2019

‘With Pencil and Scissors: Rodin Draws the Body’

Invited presentation, Rodin Study Day at Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, United Kingdom, 2/3/2019

‘The Ataxic Venus: Specimen and Portrait at the Musée Charcot’

Portraiture conference, Durham, United Kingdom, 13/7/2018

‘Interdisciplinary Entanglements: Towards a “Visual Medical Humanities”’

Association for Art History annual conference, London, United Kingdom, 6/4/2018

‘Against Nature: Cutting, Pasting and Tracing in Rodin’s Drawings’

Seeing More in the Work of Art: A Celebration of Christine Poggi conference, Philadelphia, United States, 23/3/2018

‘Collecting Pathology at the Musee Charcot’, Colloquium Series on ‘Objectes Perduts’, Societat Catalana d’Historia de la Ciencia i de la Tecnica, Barcelona, January 2018 [invited lecture]

Invited presentation, Barcelona, Spain, 1/2018

‘Shaking the Tyranny of the Cadaver: Doctor Paul Richer and the Living Ecorche’, History of Art Research Seminar Series, University College London, London, October 2015 [invited lecture]

Invited presentation, London, United Kingdom, 10/2015

'From Hospital to Ecole: The Artistic Legacy of the Salpetriere', Bodies Beyond Borders: The Circulation of Anatomical Knowledge, 1750-1950 conference, University of Leuven, Belgium, January 2015 [keynote address]

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Leuven, Belgium, 1/2015

'Jean-Martin Charcot, l'Ecole de la Salpetriere et les oeuvres d'art scientifiques', Rencontres du patrimoine hospitalier, Musee de l'Assistance Publique, Paris, October 2014 [invited lecture]

Invited presentation, Paris, France, 2014

‘“Old Age Always Comes Too Quickly”: The Elderly Body in the 1890s’, The Visual Culture of Medicine and Its Objects conference, Georgetown University, Washington DC, September 2014 [invited lecture]

Invited presentation, Washington D.C., United States, 2014

Metamorphoses of a History Painting: Andre Brouillet's Une Lecon clinique a la Salpetriere (1887), panel: Action Painting: The Theatrical and the Dramatic in Narrative Art, Association of Art Historians annual conference, Reading, April 2013

Reading, United Kingdom, 2013

Exposing the Musee Charcot: The Medical Museum as Cabinet of Curiosities, Probing the Interior 1800-2012 conference, Courtauld Institute of Art and Kings College London, London, May 2012 [invited lecture]

Invited presentation, London, United Kingdom, 5/2012

Sculptural Diagnostics: Paul Richer's Pathological Portraits for the Musee Charcot, Patient Portraits Workshop, Centre for the Humanities and Health, Kings College London, London, May 2012 [invited lecture]

Invited presentation, London, United Kingdom, 2012

The Scientific Artworks of Paul Richer, Spring Academy [Ecole de Printemps]: Arts and Knowledge, International Consortium on Art History, Paris, May 2012

Paris, France, 2012

The Embellished Objective: The Art of Retouching at the Salpetriere, The Madness of Photography conference, SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) Fourth Biennial Art History Symposium, Savannah, Georgia, February 2012

Savannah, 2012

Le Musee Charcot et l'art de la pathologie, colloque: Le theatre des nerfs: cultures neurologies, psychologiques et spectaculaires autour de 1900, Centre des Sciences historiques de la culture, Universite de Lausanne, Lausanne, November 2011

Lausanne, Switzerland, 2011

Individual and Multiple: Rodin and Physiognomy, AHRC-funded Likeness and Facial Recognition Workshop, Wellcome Trust, London, March 2011 [invited lecture]

Invited presentation, London, United Kingdom, 2011

Abstracting from Life: Photography and the Sculpture of Obrist and Rodin, Obrist, Sculpture and Abstraction conference, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, June 2010 [invited lecture]

Invited presentation, Leeds, United Kingdom, 2010

Jean-Martin Charcot and the Diagnosis of Art, panel: Crossings: Art, Medicine, Visual Culture, Association of Art Historians annual conference, Manchester, April 2009

Manchester, United Kingdom, 2009

Rodin et Freud: les liens inconnus a travers l'hysterie et Jean-Martin Charcot, Journee d'etude: La passion a l'oeuvre, Rodin et Freud collectionneurs, Musee Rodin, Paris, January 2009 [invited lecture]

Invited presentation, Paris, France, 2009

A Modern Proteus: Rodin and the Camera, Society for French Historical Studies annual conference, New Brunswick, April 2008 [organizer of panel on The Self-Fashioning of the Artist in Twentieth-Century France]

Saint John, Canada, 2008

'Modern Machinations: Figurative Sculpture and the Machine Aesthetic in the Early Twentieth Century, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, March 2008 [invited lecture]

Invited presentation, Leeds, United Kingdom, 2008

My Wax Lady Has Made a Sensation: Charcot and the Art of Illness on the Fringes, Medicine at the Margins: Ideas, Knowledge and Practice, ca. 1500-2000 conference, University of Glamorgan, Cardiff, April 2011

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Art Revolutions (AR121)

  • After Impressionism: European Art From Van Gogh to Klimt (AR216)

  • Becoming Modern: European Art From Futurism to Surrealism (AR217)

  • Photography in History (AR321)

  • Researching Art History (AR932)

  • Current Research in Art History (AR940)

Previous supervision

Patricia Louise Lewy
Patricia Louise Lewy
Thesis title: Painting History in Mid-Century America: A Case Study of Friedel Dzuba's Mature Style.
Degree subject: Art History and Theory
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 9/10/2018
Stefanie Brigitte Kogler
Stefanie Brigitte Kogler
Thesis title: Shifts in Curatorial Strategies for Art From Latin America and Latino Art At the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, Between 1956 and 2004
Degree subject: Art History and Theory
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 7/8/2017
Isabelle Mary Hersov
Isabelle Mary Hersov
Thesis title: The Temporary Exhibition Galleries in the Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery: Commission, Design and Outcome
Degree subject: Art History and Theory
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 3/7/2017
Christopher David Adams
Christopher David Adams
Thesis title: More Alive Than Ever? Futurism in the 1940S
Degree subject: Art History and Theory
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 20/2/2017
Iberia K Perez Gonzalez
Iberia K Perez Gonzalez
Thesis title: Trama: Artists' Iniatives and the Politics of Autogestion in Contemporary Argentina
Degree subject: Art History and Theory
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 26/2/2016
Kim Scott Charnley
Kim Scott Charnley
Thesis title: The Collective and Criticism After Conceptual Art: Institutional Critique Between the Fox and Group Material, 1975-1989
Degree subject: Art History and Theory
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 8/9/2015

Publications

Journal articles (7)

Ruiz-Gómez, N., Natasha Ruiz-Gómez. Review of "Auguste Rodin: Drawings and Watercolors" by Antoinette Le Normand-Romain and Christina Buley-Uribe and "Rodin" by Catherine Lampert and Antoinette Le Normand-Romain.. caa.reviews

RUIZ-GÓMEZ, N., French Masculinities: History, Culture and Politics edited by Christopher E. Forth and Bertrand Taithe. Gender & History. 22 (2), 491-492

Ruiz-Gomez, N., (2013). A Hysterical Reading of Rodin's Gates of Hell. Art History. 36 (5), 994-1017

Ruiz-Gomez, N., (2013). The 'Scientific Artworks' of Doctor Paul Richer. Medical Humanities. 39 (1), 4-10

RUIZ-GÓMEZ, N., (2009). MODERN WOMEN AND PARISIAN CONSUMER CULTURE IN IMPRESSIONIST PAINTING BY RUTH E ISKIN. The Art Book. 16 (1), 75-76

Ruiz-Gomez, N., (2006). The (Jean) Nouvel Other: Primitivism and the Musée du Quai Branly. Modern & Contemporary France. 14 (4), 417-432

Ruiz-Gomez, N., (2006). Essence and Evanescence in the Hands of Rodin. Thresholds (31), 103-109

Book chapters (6)

Ruiz-Gomez, N., (2019). The Model Patient: Observation and Illustration at the Musée Charcot. In: Visualizing the Body in Art, Anatomy, and Medicine Since 1800: Models and Modeling. Editors: Graciano, A., . Routledge. 203- 232. 113854437X. 9781138544376

Ruiz-Gomez, N., (2018). Genius and Degeneracy: Auguste Rodin and the Monument to Balzac. In: Medicine and Maladies: Representing Affliction in Nineteenth-Century France. Editors: Leroy, S., . Brill / Rodopi. 217- 250. 9004367993. 9789004367999

Ruiz-Gomez, N., (2017). Shaking the Tyranny of the Cadaver: Doctor Paul Richer and the Living Écorché. In: Bodies Beyond Borders: Moving Anatomies, 1750-1950. Editors: Wils, K., de Bont, R. and Au, S., . Leuven University Press. 231- 257. 978 94 6270 094 9

Ruiz-Gomez, N., (2016). Against the grain: Rodin's experiments with paper. In: Ecstasies: Drawings by Auguste Rodin. Editors: Lederballe, T., . National Gallery of Denmark [Statens Museum for Kunst]. 171- 202

Ruiz-Gomez, N., (2010). Auguste Rodin, Photography, and the Construction of Masculinity. In: Interior Portraiture and Masculine Identity in France, 1789-1914. Editors: Balducci, T., Belnap Jensen, H. and Warner, P., . Ashgate. 197- 212. 9780754667841

Ruiz-Gomez, N., (2008). 'Auguste Rodin and the 'Scientific Image': The Sublime Copy Versus the Photograph'. In: Visions of the Industrial Age, 1830-1914 Modernity and the Anxiety of Representation in Europe. Editors: Kang, M. and Woodson-Boulton, A., . Ashgate. 109- 138. 9780754664888

Grants and funding

2017

The Scientific Artworks of Doctor Jean-Martin Charcot and the Salpetriere School

Leverhulme Trust

2013

Collect, Exchange, Display: Artistic Practice and the Medical Museum

Wellcome Trust

Contact

natashar@essex.ac.uk
+44 (0) 1206 872999

Location:

6.131, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Tuesdays 11 am - 12 pm and Thursdays 1:30 - 2:30 pm