Russell Johnson on Five Centuries of Collecting Vesaliana

  • 12/15/2023
  • 12:00 PM
  • 12/15/2023 12:00 PM CT/1:00 PM ET Zoom presentation is free and open to all. Preregistration required via website. ULCC live attendance – Zoom presentation and optional holiday buffet lunch ($65). Reservations required by 12:00 PM CT 12/13/23.


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

Registration is closed

December Midday Program

If Cole Porter had been penning tunes during the sixteenth century he might have jumped on the Andreas Vesalius bandwagon to come up with a song titled “I’ll Draw What’s Under Your Skin.”

Vesalius’s anatomical masterwork De humani corporis fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body) was a medical sensation — and a boon to publisher/printers who were not in the least bit queasy about what its intricate plates revealed nor about pirating this seminal work.

Published at a time when physicians were still arguing about the best place to do their bloodletting, De humani was a leap forward in anatomical understanding.

You’ll want to join us in the operating theatre as Russell Johnson, Curator for History of Medicine and the Sciences at UCLA Special Collections peels back (so to speak) the story of this remarkable publication and introduces you to the John A. Benjamin collection.

It’s a tale of first editions, superb printing, collecting twists and turns, booksellers’ correspondence and invoices, an oil painting with a curious history, and even a later volume with a provenance that may not be providential. You’ll also learn about how collecting Vesaliana continues today, with unlikely prizes that range from comic books to postage stamps.

Don’t wait for this session to fill or you may wind up registering in vein!

Live attendance and Carolers Luncheon

View Zoom program on eighth floor, Steel Room, Union League Club. Presentation begins at 12:00 PM CT. Optional lavish holiday buffet complete with carving station, desserts, strolling carolers, and a toast. A chance to dine and linger with fellow Caxtonians. Price $65 Reservations and pre-payment required by 12:00 p.m. 12/13/23.

Zoom presentation is free and open to all.

Zoom begins at 12:00PM CT/1:00 PM ET. Preregistration required via website.

Please forward this notice to anyone who may find it of interest.

Transportation to the Union League Club at 65 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago.

The Union League Club is easily accessible through many public transportation methods. Additionally, the following options are available for those who wish to travel by cab or car.

The Union League Club front desk offers a connection to cab service through Curb. The desk will call cabs for members and all guests while allowing riders to remain inside until the cab arrives. No curb side wait. Cabs will accept all payment forms, following the payment procedures you experience with a street-hailed cab.

If you are traveling by car, the Union League Club offers valet parking for Caxton events at $35.00. You must register and prepay in advance through the Caxton Club. Valet parking options will now be included as an option with all event registrations.

Spot Hero is an independent parking option, generally offering spots at the 318 S. Federal Street garage adjacent to the Union League Club. You may reserve and pay for a guaranteed parking spot through the Spot Hero app or website (

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PO Box 2329,
Chicago IL 60604-9997

Tel: +1 (312) 970-1294