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The Wellcome Collection: A Museum of Man


Posted September 12, 2012 by Eda Aksoy


he Wellcome Collection in London stands out against other institutions particularly because its rare approach in displaying a vast collection of medical history, current scientific research and art that expands from 1100 BCE to our day.

Founded by Sir Henry Wellcome, a 19th-century pharmacist, entrepreneur and collector, the Wellcome Collection encompasses contemporary and historic exhibitions, the Wellcome Library and Wellcome Images.

Jennifer Sutton looks at her own heart in Wellcome Collection’s opening exhibition, “The Heart”

Sir Henry Wellcome had a passion for collecting medically related artefacts, aiming to create a Museum of Man. He bought very widely anything related to medicine, including Napoleon’s toothbrush, currently on display at the Wellcome Collection. By the time of his death there were 125,000 medical objects in the collection, of over one million total.


The Wellcome Collection’s website is also a fantastic resource where the reader can browse through videos, images and articles on topics such as the mind and body, sickness and health, and science and art.

The Science&Art page reads;

“To many, science embodies the rational and analytical end of human experience, while art comes from the empathic and expressive. Science can prove truths to us, while art can only make us feel them Nevertheless, where science meets art and the two work together, the result can be extraordinarily productive, as horizons are broadened and gaps in our understanding of both are filled. Science and art both rely on observation and synthesis: taking what is seen and creating something new from it. Our society could hardly exist without either but when they come together our culture is enriched, sometimes in unexpected ways.”

The Wellcome Collection has housed intriguing exhibitions including “Brains: The mind as matter”, “Sleeping and Dreaming”, and “War and Medicine”.

The current exhibition on view from 19 July to 16 October 2012 is “Superhuman”, an exhibition exploring human enhancement.

The Collection is open Tuesday through Sunday at 183 Euston Road, London.

Visit: http://www.wellcomecollection.org/

Eda Aksoy

Eda is a Co-Founder and Vice President of Ekavart, an arts affiliate of EKAV (Foundation for Research in Education and Culture) in Istanbul, Turkey. Based in New York as a business manager for Fine Art Auctions Miami, she is also a photographer who has exhibited in London, Istanbul and Palestine. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Art History from the University of Virginia. Her research interests include the creative processes of the brain and neurological foundations of aesthetic experience.


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