The Historical Library is pleased to announce a new online exhibition showing items you might never find in our physical exhibits! https://onlineexhibits.library.yale.edu/s/materialfragility/page/home “Materiality, Fragility, and Loss in the Medical Archive” was curated by Anabelle Gambert-Jouan, a doctoral candidate in the Department of the History of Art, who was supported by a Graduate Professional Experience Fellowship from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She reflects on the exhibition in this blog post. Overcoming the Fragility of Objects with a Digital Exhibition by Anabelle Gambert-Jouan The idea for the exhibition “Materiality, Fragility, and Loss in the Medical Archive” emerged in a moment of widespread closure of museums and collections. What could be done to showcase the Medical Historical Library’s holdings when access to the display cases beneath the Cushing rotunda was restricted? Instead of a limitation, the switch to an entirely online exhibition became an opportunity to highlight photographs, books, and other medical artifacts that are either rarely seen by the public due to their fragile state or cannot be appreciated fully in traditional display cases because they have mechanistic components or hidden parts requiring tactile engagement. As curatorial fellow at the Medical Historical Library, I had the opportunity to explore the collection in-person, including the recently acquired Stanley B. Burns M.D. Historic Medical Photography Collection, to select the works that best expressed the exhibition’s themes. I wanted to illustrate, through the digital medium, that a daguerreotype needed to be held in a certain way for the image to become visible for an instant. I wanted to convey the strange sensation of peeling back the layers of the paper organs depicted in G. J. Witkowski’s Anatomie iconoclastique. To do this, I used photographs and videos created especially by the staff of the Medical Historical Library. The exhibition examines these fascinating historical objects, with an emphasis on the senses of sight and touch. The exhibition also catches the “behind-the-scenes” moments of the collection. Recent and ongoing work by conservators and scientists is highlighted in the final section of the exhibition, to explain how specialists are seeing through the damage and the material decay to learn more about objects.
Thirty years ago, the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law, prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life, including employment, schools, transportation, and public spaces. This exhibition explores disability and disability activism leading up to the passage of the ADA in July 1990. At a local level, the exhibition discusses disability activism at Yale today, focusing on multiple groups advocating for change across Yale's system. On display in the Cushing Rotunda March 5th - December 2020
Curated by Katherine Isham The Medical Historical Library announces a new exhibition in our reading room: “The Enduring Appeal of ‘The Doctor’” featuring recent gifts from medical historian Bert Hansen, Ph.D. “The Doctor,” painted by Sir Luke Fildes in 1891, has been a popular and influential image in the history of medicine for more than a century. The painting of a Victorian doctor attending a sick child in a poor workman’s cottage held great appeal for the general public, who responded to the sympathetic portrayal. Members of the medical profession embraced the painting as a depiction of the ideal physician firmly rooted in the humanitarian traditions of medicine and not defined by the pristine clinical coldness of laboratory science which was redefining modern medicine at the end of the 19th century. By 1900, over one million prints of “The Doctor” were sold in the United States alone. In the 20th century, the enduring charm of “The Doctor” was employed in advertising, merchandise, political campaigns, and publishing, making it one of the most recognized images in modern medical history. Some of the most famous uses of “The Doctor” include a life-size three-dimensional exhibition at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, a United States postage stamp, and the image for an anti-nationalized medicine lobbying campaign by the American Medical Association. The exhibition displays a variety of prints and objects dating from 1907 to 2009.
NEW EXHIBITION Plastic Surgery at Yale: Surgical Expertise, Innovation, and History On view in the Cushing Rotunda from October 30th 2019 - February 24th, 2020 Surgical attempts to reconstruct the human body after injury or illness have long been at the forefront of medical innovation. The expansive field of plastic surgery emerged over centuries, now including reconstruction and cosmetics and aesthetic surgery. In this exhibition, evolving techniques and procedures dating from ancient times through the present day are on display through a sampling of major historical plastic surgery texts from the Medical Historical Library. Discover technologies used in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery today through the models and tools on loan from Yale Plastic Surgery. Learn about innovations from Yale's own plastic surgery faculty through various publications, instruments, and the international non-profit work performed around the globe. The exhibition, in partnership with Yale Plastic Surgery, was curated by Marc E. Walker, MD, MBA, with assistance from Melissa Grafe, Ph.D, Head of the Medical Historical Library.
Exhibition curated by Terry Dagradi and Deborah Streahle The Medical Library celebrates the first decade of the Cushing Center with a special exhibition leading up the its anniversary. Throughout his career as a groundbreaking neurosurgeon, Dr. Cushing took detailed notes on what patients told him about their serious, often mysterious ailments. He had patients sit for diagnostic photos and sketches, and he followed up with them for years after treating them. With precision, he removed and preserved their tumors and, after they died, their brains. These materials became the Cushing Brain Tumor Registry, a vast collection that medical students and scholars traveled to study until the materials fell out of use in the 1970s. Creating the Cushing Center took over 15 years, from the resurgence of interest in the collection in the 1990s to the opening of the Cushing Center during Alumni Weekend in June 2010. While the collection was originally assembled to educate the medical elite, the Cushing Center opens the Brain Tumor Registry to the public from which it came. Since opening, the Cushing Center has provided a new place of honor for the materials of the Cushing Brain Tumor Registry. The Cushing Center has also hosted workshops, meetings, and classes ranging from drawing to divinity and has inspired many projects within and beyond medicine. Serving as a unique record of neurosurgery’s early days, the space has generated abundant national and international media attention. And, as a poignant reminder of the people whose lives depended on Cushing’s expertise, the Center sparks important conversations about the ethics of collecting and displaying human tissue. Featured in the anniversary exhibition are materials that tell the story of the Cushing Center’s first decade. If you visit, consider the next decade of the Cushing Center and share your ideas, reflections, and suggestions online and on the bulletin board near the entrance.
Grant Wood’s American Gothic Repurposed and Several Anti-Smoking Acquisitions on view now at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library. “American Gothic” is one of the best known works by an American artist. Iowa native Grant Wood was inspired by the small town Iowan home in Gothic Revival style and asked his sister and his dentist to pose for the painting as father and daughter residents of the well kept property. To many viewers of “American Gothic” the scene was, and is, interpreted as a satire on rural life, but Wood avowed that the painting portrayed traditional American values, pointing out the residents’ resilience, fortitude and pride. The painting was first exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1930 where it won a prize of $300. It remains on view at the Art Institute. Currently on display in the medical library hallway leading to the rotunda are: Bruce McGillivray's Recycling, An Iowa Way of Life, Iowa Recycling Association, 1988. Purchased through the John F. Fulton Fund 2018 Marcia Cooper's We Can Live Without Nuclear Power, 1979. Purchased through the John F. Fulton Fund 2018 S. Cooper's Crop Rotation Pays, no date. Screen print. Copyright Compass Points, Memphis, Tenn. Purchased through the Lucia Fulton Fund 2016 About our collection This year, sixty-seven posters were acquired for the Historical Medical Poster Collection, a few of which are currently on display in the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library. The library regularly acquires posters, prints, drawings, instruments, manuscripts, rare books, and other objects and materials of interest in the understanding of medical and public health issues over time. The library’s special collections holdings are available for use in classes and for study. To use these materials, contact the Historical Library or your departmental librarian.
Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine (YJBM) is celebrating 90 years of continuous publication. Founded in 1928 by Milton C. Winternitz, YJBM is the oldest medical student-run publication still in production and has grown to be a peer-reviewed, internationally ranked journal aimed at featuring outstanding research in all areas of biology and medicine. Explore this exhibition featuring the accomplishments and challenges of student editorship and the vivid history of YJBM. Exhibit to run May 30, 2019 - September 30, 2019 in the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library Rotunda
Want to learn more about the smart and dedicated women who supported the work of our namesake, Harvey Cushing? Explore our newest exhibition, curated by Emma Brennan-Wydra, Stanley Simbonis Intern for the Medical Library, and now on view in the Cushing Center! Throughout his career, Dr. Harvey Cushing employed a team of women who assisted him as secretaries, typists, medical artists, operative photographers, laboratory technicians, and more. Cushing's female associates referred to themselves jokingly as his “harem,” but they were far more than that. These working women were indispensable to Cushing, and their contributions are evident throughout his published works, as well as his diaries and correspondence. Three of Harvey Cushing's assistants, in particular—secretary Madeline Stanton, neuropathologist Louise Eisenhardt, and medical illustrator Mildred Codding—are remembered not only for their proximity to the famed neurosurgeon, but also as leading lights in their own respective fields, with careers extending decades beyond Cushing's death in 1939. Madeline Stanton, who worked as Cushing's secretary, played a major role in the organization and development of the historical collections at the Yale Medical Library (now the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library). As Librarian of the Historical Collections from 1949 until 1968, Stanton maintained an “atmosphere of generous and kindly learning” in the Historical Library. “She always knew,” recalled Gloria Robinson, wife of Yale neurosurgeon Dr. Franklin Robinson. “She had endless special knowledge.” (Photograph by Richard U. Light, courtesy of the Harvard Medical School Archives at the Countway Library of Medicine.) Louise Eisenhardt, whom Cushing originally hired as an editorial assistant, obtained a medical degree for herself in 1925 and worked as Cushing's pathologist. A leading expert on tumor diagnosis, Eisenhardt was the first woman president of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the first managing editor of the Journal of Neurosurgery, a position she held for 22 years. She was also the curator of the Brain Tumor Registry, Cushing's collection of pathological specimens and patient records, which is now housed in the Cushing Center. (Photograph by Richard U. Light, courtesy of the Harvard Medical School Archives at the Countway Library of Medicine.) Mildred Codding was a medical illustrator who worked with Cushing from 1928 until his retirement from the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in 1932. Her surgical drawings and anatomical diagrams grace the pages of many of Cushing's published works. A student and disciple of famed medical illustrator Max Brödel, Codding made masterful use of the carbon dust technique, resulting in wonderfully vivid, detailed, and realistic illustrations of living tissue. After Cushing's retirement, Codding stayed on as an illustrator at the Brigham. Her later illustrations appear in a number of major works, including Zollinger's Atlas of Surgical Operations. (Photograph by Russell B. Harding, courtesy of the Brigham and Women's Hospital Archives.) Learn more about these exceptional women at our new exhibition in the Cushing Center, which features photographs, correspondence, books, slides, and original surgical illustrations by Mildred Codding. An online companion to the physical exhibition, which includes additional photographs and information, is available here.
The Historical Library is please to announce our newest exhibition: The Early Modern Pharmacy: Drugs, Recipes, and Apothecaries, 1500-1800 April 2nd-July 5th, 2018 What did a pharmacy look like in Europe, between 1500 and 1800? What kind of activities took place within its walls? Who were the pharmacists? What kind of drugs did they make, and where did the ingredients come from? This exhibit, organized by the students in Professor Paola Bertucci's undergraduate seminar Collecting Nature and Art with the collaboration of Sarah Pickman, engages with these questions. It shows that, in the early modern period, collecting recipes and making medicines were common household activities carried out by women, while apothecaries often became targets of satire. The exhibit focuses also on a number of American ingredients, like coffee, cocoa, tobacco and chocolate, initially regarded as potential cure-alls, and on the mythical mandrake. Join us for an opening reception April 2nd at 5:15 in the Rotunda of the Medical Library.
Highlighting New Acquisitions in the Medical Historical Library January 29th-March 28th, 2018 The Medical Historical Library expands its collections through the careful acquisition of new books, prints, posters, ephemera and other objects. Spanning assorted topics, including anatomy, herbs and plants, plague and other diseases, protest against medicine and social justice, HIV/AIDS patients, Planned Parenthood, and more, this exhibition highlights just a few of the new pieces recently added to the Library. On view in the Rotunda and Library Hallway. Please view our Instagram account @yalemedhistlib for more collections, including other recent acquisitions.