A woman’s greatest handicap is her upbringing: Interview with Beatrix Patzak (Federal Pathologic-Anatomical Museum, Vienna)

For the series on “Women leaders in art and science”
wieninternational.at spoke this week with Beatrix Patzak, director of
the Federal Pathologic-Anatomical Museum in Vienna. The woman who reigns
over about 50,000 anatomical and pathological specimens reported from
her workplace in the so-called Narrenturm (Madhouse Tower)
about her first activities at the museum, her everyday experience with
overwhelmed visitors and the special features of the building.

Since the beginning of her era Beatrix Patzak has succeeded in turning
the Pathologic-Anatomical Museum into an open, accessible building. Yet
even so the ‘Madhouse Tower’ appears deserted on this morning of the 2nd
of November. The doors of what was once the world’s first psychiatric
ward are closed, and only after ringing the bell does the door to
today’s museum world of pathology and anatomy open. Silence reigns on
the path leading past the public exhibition on the ground floor through
the courtyard up to the first floor to the study collection. There we
finally came face to face with Beatrix Patzak who in 1993 became the
youngest director of an Austrian state museum and the first woman to
hold such a high position. Two skulls are quickly removed from her desk
before our interview begins.

Link (via Heather Kelley)

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