Reviews Art

Pictures of Health

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 10 February 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:369
  1. Gavin Yamey
  1. BMJ

    A photographic exhibition from the British Library at Homerton Hospital, London, until 31 July 2001 On the web ( from March 2000

    A picture on the wall is never just a picture. Every captured image has a history, a social context, and a meaning that goes far beyond the confines of its frame. Take, for example, an exhibit called Surgical Fashions under a Pound. The photograph shows a page from a 1922 catalogue of theatre clothing made by the Surgical Manufacturing Company of London. The art itself is unremarkable—just a series of simple line drawings. What is fascinating is that the adoption of such clothing was of immense historical importance. It marked the end of a time when surgeons wore an old coat or gown, unwashed and …

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