Museum Late
Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Place, Regents Park, NW1 4LE

Discover our collections, featuring everything from artworks by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Thomas Lawrence and Dame Elisabeth Frink, to scarce anatomical preparations and extraordinary medical instruments, all housed in a grade 1 listed ‘modernist masterpiece’ designed by acclaimed architect Sir Denys Lasdun. 

A nature print of a lambs liver; an apron printed with an image of flayed human skin.

Thursday 5 March, 6.30pm

Performance-lecture Books as Bodies, Bodies as Books by artist Amanda Couch

Amanda's performance-lecture, Books as Bodies, Bodies as Books explores the corporeality of books and the entanglement between the metaphorical, books as bodies of knowledge and experience, and the material, books constituted of actual bodily matter, parchment, leather, hair and intestines. Referencing her nature prints of lambs livers exhibited in ‘Under the skin’, Amanda Couch will explore and enact ideas around livers as tablets, skin tissue as aprons, birthing amulets, folds as metaphors of digestion, and parchment and palimpsests, in collaboration with her own artworks, and artefacts from the Royal College of Physicians library collection. 


Amanda Couch is an artist, researcher, and senior lecturer in Fine Art at University for the Creative Arts, Farnham. Cutting across media, her art practice and research straddles the domains of performance, the live and recorded image, print and the book, sculpture, food, participation, and writing. An ongoing obsession with the digestive system, metaphorically and materially, which is often triggered by the processes and lived experiences of her own body, has led her to learn the ancient practice of liver divination. 

Recent exhibitions include solo show, Extispicy in the Everyday (2018), Ivy Arts Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford and performances include: Books as Bodies, Wellcome Library, London (2019); Our Palace of Intestines, University of Surrey (2018); A Woman Holding a Liver, ‘Acts Re-Acts Performance Lab’, Wimbledon Space (2017) and at Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery (2016), where she won the Best First-Time Presenter.

Under the skin exhibition

Other RCP Museum highlights include:

  • priceless portraits and silver displayed throughout the building
  • medical rarities such as the Symons collection of self-care instruments and medical apparatus, the Hoffbrand collection of apothecary jars and the Prujean chest of surgical tools from the era of the English Civil War
  • a remarkable set of 17th-century human remains, providing a fascinating insight into dissection and discovery in anatomy
  • regular displays from our archive and rare books collections
  • a changing programme of acclaimed temporary exhibitions 

Forthcoming Museum Lates: 

  • Thursday 2 April 2020
  • Thursday 7 May 2020
  • Thursday 4 June 2020