Illuminating the history of medicine

From Salon:


Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome died in 1936, but his curiosity about human understandings of “the preservation of health and life” — carried forward in the 21st century by the Wellcome Trust — is supremely infectious. Open “The Art of Medicine: Over 2,000 Years of Images and Imagination” (University of Chicago Press, out now), which spotlights works from London’s Wellcome Collection, and you’ll find illuminations from late medieval medical manuals; 18th-century anatomical waxworks with removable organs; leaves from hand-colored plant and herb guides; early-20th-century lithographs advertising gout remedies; astonishing close-ups of implanting human embryos; and much, much more. The collection is so wide-ranging and diverse as to defy a pithy explanation — but taken as a whole, it’s transfixing. Emma Shackleton, one of the book’s co-authors, answered a few of my questions over email; the accompanying slide show offers a whirlwind tour of the past few hundred years of medical imagery.

View the slide show

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