No Hazmat Suit Needed to Marvel at the CDC Museum's 'The World Unseen' Art Exhibition

  • ATLANTA, Georgia
  • /
  • June 21, 2019

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Scott Chimileski and Roberto Coulter, video still from Handprint, 2018. Courtesy of the artists.

In Atlanta, The David J. Sencer CDC Museum’s new exhibition--The World Unseen: Intersections of Art and Science—gathers the work of ten international artists who draw upon microbiology, biotechnology, anatomy, and texts in their investigations of microbes and cells, DNA, history of disease and science, the body, and beauty. 

Open through August 30, 2019, the exhibition examines how contemporary artists use the visual language and principles of microbiology, biotechnology, and other sciences to create provocative paintings, drawings, installations, and videos.

Entrance to The World Unseen with Amie Esslinger’s Collission, 2019. Photo by Mike Jensen, courtesy of the CDC Museum.

The World Unseen artists all share a deep interest in science, and some are scientists themselves or collaborate closely with researchers. Some mine the images of the unseen world to comment about the debates that swarm around the intersection of disease and ethics—past, present, and future. Others are drawn to the abstract beauty of what is sub-visible—real and imagined. Several of the artists use their work as starting points to understand the complex relationships between humans and their biological systems.  They also examine challenges facing us in the 21st century, including emerging infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance. Collectively, these artists ponder the humanistic and scientific implications of knowing and seeing what we normally cannot see: 

Anna Dumitrui, The MRSA Quilt, cotton calico, sterilized bacteria, antibiotic and antimicrobial substances, 2012. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Scott Chimileski and Roberto Kolter, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Ruth Cuthand, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Anna Dumitriu, Brighton, United Kingdom

Amie Esslinger, Atlanta, Georgia

Lorrie Fredette, Saugerties, New York

Bojana Ginn, Atlanta, Georgia

Nathaniel Price, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Jody Rasch, Port Chester, New York

Laura Splan, Brooklyn, New York

The David J. Sencer CDC Museum is located at 1600 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.  Admission and parking are free. Driver’s license or passport required for entry. The CDC Museum is open Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., with extended hours to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday. The museum is closed on all federal holidays. For more information, visit the museum website at

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