Tuesday 3 March 2015

Sometimes the exhibit itself becomes the story. The 1997 "Bedlam, Custody, Care and Cure 1247-1997" exhibition at the Museum of London presented these two pictures of a ward as depicted by Hogarth in 1735 and a ward depicted in 1867  Peter Beresford described the exhibition as being in "classic modernist terms of centuries of progress, culminating in modern psychiatry"  He thought it was insensitivee to "issues of difference and discrimination" and reduced the "experience of thousands of inmates ... to a handful of indecipherable photographs posed in hospital wards and grounds, and select biographies of the famous and curious few". Are the exhibits at the present Museum of the Mind a subtler presentation?

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