EXHIBITION: Medicine Man and Medicine Now (Wellcome Collection)

23 Aug
  • ‘Medicine Now’ reflects the experiences and interests of scientists, doctors and patients since Henry Wellcome’s death in 1936.
  • The main topics examined are: the body, genomes, malaria, obesity and the experience of medicine.
  • Items exhibited include artistic responses to the issues presented.
  • My favourite works were by Irish/German artist MICHEAL HOPKINS. With white ink on slate Hopkins has created abstract x-ray compositions. The fact that they are slightly abstracted makes them really interesting for me because they look like they could be real x-rays but its uncertain what bones or creature they’re depicting.


  • SENSE was a sculpture by ANNIE CATTREL illustrating the activity patterns of the human brain as it responds to the five senses.


  • ‘Medicine Man’ is a vast stockpile of evidence about our universal interest in health and the body.
  • The objects exhibited are from Henry Wellcome’s own collection. They range from diagnostic dolls to Japanese sex aids, and from Napoleon’s toothbrush to George III’s hair.
  • It also provides and very different perspective on some of our own obsessions with medicine and health.
  • Some of the objects are examined by a variety of commentators from different backgrounds, to show that one object can mean many different things and tell many different stories.


  • The exhibition also contains real human remains, which I find cool and interesting to look at. I also like the display of past instruments used in operations and amputations.  

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