Friday, 16 March 2012

A masterpiece of patient art

Two drawings from LHSA’s collection of patient art by Andrew Kennedy (1825-1899) will be going on display shortly as part of Edinburgh University’s exhibition ‘Masterpieces II’.

Kennedy was a patient at the Glasgow Royal Asylum and other Scottish hospitals in the second half of the nineteenth century and produced a number of drawings that were found in the papers of Dr Thomas Clouston, Physician Superintendent of the Royal Edinburgh Asylum. They may have been sent to Dr Clouston as indicative examples of mental illness, and are certainly a window into the patient perspective on mental health care of the late-1800s. (A couple of images of Kennedy’s work are available on the LHSA website.)

The exhibition opens in April and preparations are well underway. The items that will be included were chosen a few months ago, and finishing touches have just been made to the captions and the graphics for the back of each display case.

Yesterday, a selection of the items that will be exhibited, including the Kennedy drawings, were laid out in our viewing room for a press call. Photographers from a number of papers and press agencies were given the opportunity to take images for publicity purposes, including some posed shots with several of our Centre for Research Collections colleagues!

Collection items displayed in the viewing room, the Kennedy drawings are in the middle of the right hand side of the table

Joe, the Centre for Research Collections Rare Books Librarian, models a first edition of Isaac Newton's 'Principia'

‘Masterpieces II’ opens in early April in Edinburgh University Main Library Exhibition Room, 30 George Square. Entry is free. Watch this space, and our Facebook page and tweets, for further details.

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