Holocaust Expert and Artists Add Depth to “Baneful Medicine” Art Exhibit with Lecture and Panel Discussion on April 24 at Cooper Union

Posted by on April 23, 2018

Event to focus on Nazi-era practices and implications for modern medical ethics

April 20, 2018 (NEW YORK) – Patrons of the new art exhibit “Baneful Medicine” at Cooper Union, on show at the college’s library gallery through May 11, will be able to gain additional insight into Holocaust-era medicine and its ties to modern medical ethics through a lecture and panel discussion Tuesday, April 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Sheldon Rubenfeld, M.D., who will give the keynote address, is an internationally renowned Holocaust scholar and Executive Director of Center for Medicine after the Holocaust (CMATH). He is also a 1966 graduate of Cooper Union. Rubenfeld will be joined in a panel discussion by artists whose works are featured in the exhibit.

“Baneful Medicine,” which has been curated by Cooper Union Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Adjunct Associate Professor Andrew Weinstein, is an exhibition of contemporary artists’ work that responds to medical experiments from the Holocaust forward. The exhibit grew out of the 2015 CMATH-sponsored First International Scholars Workshop on Medicine after the Holocaust. Since then, the show has traveled to Prague, Budapest and Kiev before coming to New York.

CMATH was founded to challenge medical professionals and healthcare policy makers to personally confront the medical ethics of the Holocaust – as many of the “Baneful Medicine” pieces will do – and apply that knowledge to contemporary medical practice and research.

“What is important for people to realize is that many of the Nazi programs –   involuntary sterilization, racial purity laws, restrictive immigration, and unethical human subjects experimentation – were already in place in the United States; and they didn’t all end with the Holocaust,” Rubenfeld said.

In addition to Rubenfeld’s keynote, Tuesday’s event will include a panel discussion with several artists exhibiting at the show. They will provide insight into their works of art, which not only depict Holocaust atrocities, but also raise questions about modern medical issues such as DNA testing and genetic modification.

Artists expected to participate in the panel discussion include Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Susan Erony, Larry Miller, Eduardo Kac and Verena Kaminiarz. These are all prominent artists who have made bioethics central to their artistic practice. The exhibit will also feature pieces by Aurelia Moser, Allison Burtch, Adam Harvey, Todd Ayoung, Aziz+Cucher, Christine Borland, Arie A. Galles, Aharon Gluska, Ruth Liberman, Vitaly Komar and Anna Halberstadt.

For more information on the Cooper Union “Baneful Medicine” exhibit, lecture and panel discussion, visit

To learn more about CMATH, visit


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