Thursday, 3 September 2009

Medicine Man

On Monday, a bank holiday here, we went to the Wellcome Museum, a most interesting museum with its primary permanent exhibition featuring the collections of Henry Wellcome. He was an entrepreneur with a strong interest in medicine and the body, and he was an avid collector. He appears to have been quite eccentric, too. His collections included things like apothecary bottles, tattooed human skin, prosthetic limbs, erotic figurines, and unusual medical paintings. I think those new antiquarian girls would have loved this place.

Above, a beautiful wall of glass bottles, and below some of his impressive photography collection.

A few paintings from his collection.

A dentist about to yank a tooth, and hiding the instrument until he does so! I'm not sure I'd want this hanging on my wall. I shudder at the thought. The worst pain I've ever felt was tooth pain, worse than waiting to reach 7cm before asking for an epidural when I had Lois. Let's here it for modern medicine and anesthesia!

As any collector knows, it's hard to stop at one, no matter what it is.

Tattooed skin.

A tiny medical figurine of a pregnant woman (who strangely looks more like a bearded man).

His museum and bureau when he was living.

A very interesting man, don't you think? The museum also had an exhibit of life-size wax medical models called Exquisite Bodies. No pictures were allowed there, but you can read more about it here if you'd like.


littlebyrd said...

Fascinating! I love the little model of the pregnant woman. The skin? A little strange but interetsing.


A little exotic, a little macabre.
Really fascinating Leigh!
Lisa & Alfie