The Wellcome Collection, notably for being Effie Trinket’s favourite Museum location in the Capital, is devoted to the relationship between the Medical Sciences and Art. As you can imagine, it was right up Mum’s alley!
We were able to see to special exhibitions, one had copper wire wrapped around a variety of objects by Alice Anderson. Beautiful and dynamic. One area had tubes all wrapped and hung willy-nilly from the ceiling. I half expected a ROUS (Rodent of Unusual Size) to pop out and try to maul us. And no, we did not find Wesley or the Dread Pirate Roberts in there. For shame!
The other special exhibition was about sexuality, academic breakthroughs and artistic reactions to the changing cultural views of sex. There was a lot about Freud, Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, and included stuff about Margaret Mead and various fertility charms (and the like) that Wellcome had collected. We both enjoyed it but wanted a less academic approach in some areas. It’d have been great to see elements of popular culture’s reactions and how it has changed us as a society today. They may have wanted to but there was not a lot of extra space left over. Photos were not allowed in either special exhibitions so I only got a shot of the exterior text.
The permanent exhibits relate to Medicine Past and Medicine Now. Sir Henry Wellcome set up a pharmaceutical company by the name of Burroughs Wellcome & Co. He made lots of money and was an ardent collector of objects relating to medicine from around the world. He also funded lots of research and the Wellcome Trust now continues his work.
As you can see, the collection is laid out typologically as opposed to culturally. This how Wellcome would have used the collection. You can see various cultures reactions to life’s medical difficulties but when removed from the cultural context many westerners are given a false sense of the superiority of their culture over others which is not helpful at all. Most modern Museum practice does not encourage typological viewing as it is super colonialist.
Funny story, most chastity belts are Victorian due such an interest at the time. So they weren’t as common as they would lead us to believe. Nice work for forgers!
That last photo is of Dolly the cloned sheep’s wool and shit! 🐏 = 🐏 =💩
(This is for you Hope!)
It was pretty snazzy! Mum and I were expecting a bit more of Modern Medicine rather than artistic imaginings. It was fun but we wanted to see actually modern scientific breakthroughs.
The cafe and gift shop were AWESOME
Pros: Cool, snazzy and lots of weird medical stuff
Cons: Much more art than modern medicine focused