The Mérida English Library community is fortunate to have many accomplished writers in our midst. This edition of Author Spotlight turns its attention to new resident Joanna Ebenstein, a multi-disciplinary artist, award winning curator, writer, photographer, producer, art director, designer, and public speaker.

Joanna’s work explores the intersections of art, anatomy, death and culture.  She is best known as creator of Morbid Anatomy blog, library and event series. She was cofounder and creative director of the Morbid Anatomy Museum. She has curated, consulted, designed and produced for institutions such as The National Library of Medicine, New York Academy of Medicine, The Mütter Museum, London’s Wellcome Collection and Science Museum, Amsterdam's Vrolik Museum, and the Todd Haynes film Wonderstruck.

She wrote and provided many photographs for “The Anatomical Venus: Wax, God, Death & the Ecstatic” and “Walter Potter's Curious World of Taxidermy”, and has edited other collections such as “Death: A Graveside Companion” and the recently released “Frederik Ruysch and His Thesaurus Anatomicus: A Morbid Guide”.  One of her recent books, which she describes as “one of my most accessible”, is “Anatomica: The Exquisite and Unsettling Art of Human Anatomy”, which features nearly three hundred incredible images spanning seven centuries of anatomical artworks.  This is a fascinating look at a thoroughly researched subject, bringing together some of civilization’s most striking, fascinating and bizarre anatomical artworks.

In addition to her writing and editing, she oversees a series of online classes.  You can find more information here.  One class of interest to our community might be advice on creating your own ofrenda, which begins on October 20.

Despite the somber tone of her subject, Joanna is a kind and cheerful person and is a welcomed addition to the Mérida artistic and literary community.  She fell in love with México through field trips produced by her organization to visit four different Day of the Dead celebrations. The last trip was to Mérida, which is how she ended up here.  Joanna and Bryan Melillo, a painter and instructor at the Parsons School of Design, recently purchased a home in La Ermita.

“Anatomica: The Exquisite and Unsettling Art of Human Anatomy” is available, along with her other books, for order on her website and in limited supply at Between the Lines bookstore