BOOK REVIEW: The Art of Medicine: Over 2,000 Years of Images and Imagination by Julie Anderson, Emm Barnes and Emma Shackleton | Science News

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BOOK REVIEW: The Art of Medicine: Over 2,000 Years of Images and Imagination by Julie Anderson, Emm Barnes and Emma Shackleton

Review by Nick Bascom

By
12:29pm, December 30, 2011

The images in this survey of medicine prove an eclectic mix of the curious, the grotesque and the breathtakingly beautiful. Covering a wide array of medically related topics — such as cholera, childbirth and charlatans — the book presents the most captivating pieces from pharmaceutical entrepreneur Sir Henry Wellcome’s vast collection.

The equally engaging text reveals how Wellcome, a fascinating figure himself (“Born in a log cabin in Sioux Indian country … Wellcome ended his days as a knight of the British Realm”), set about using his fortune to acquire an enormous museum of medical artifacts.

The book feels like a guided tour through that museum. In addition to drawings, paintings and photographs, the authors expertly display and explain sculptures, carvings and myriad other artifacts to provide a comprehensive visual history of the medic

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