Born in Boston, Rosamond W. Purcell began photographing dead animal specimens at Harvard University's zoology museum as a way to confront her fear of "the monstrous." She soon found that the specimens had abstract and aesthetic qualities that interested her, and went on to photograph in numerous European museums. It is with the eye of a collector, zoologist and anatomist that Purcell photographs human and animal specimens. She is fascinated by objects in various states of transformation, for things that are, in her words, "suggestive of other things that they could be." Her works are compelling for their careful framing and lighting, heightened detail, attention to patterning and texture, and subtle colour.