Exhibition: FOOD: Recipe or Remedy
A new exhibition at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (“the College”) explores the relationship between food, diet and public health over the past 600 years – and includes artwork from people who have lived experience of eating disorders.
At the exhibition launch event (27 April 2022) guests will hear two short talks from contributors to the exhibition, Ally Zlatar and Charlotte Holmes. Ally will discuss her lived experiences of an eating disorder and her art on the subject, while Charlotte will uncover the history of medical recipes and the historical relationship between food and medicine.
The illustrations, books and objects displayed in this exhibition give an insight into the use of food as a preventative, a palliative and a cure for illness by the doctors who pioneered the development of new and innovative food-based medical treatments.
The Good Food Nation Bill is currently being scrutinised by Holyrood, and the College supports this and other policies designed to tackle Scotland’s diet challenges – as around 65% of adults in Scotland are overweight or obese.
This exhibition encourages us to consider both the social and the medical ideas around food and health, and aims to show how our shifting notions of, and relationship with our diet have been central to medicine for hundreds of years.
The content includes:
Objects are a large part of the exhibition, and three of the most unusual items are: a trichobezoar (a mass of undigested hair formed in the stomach of a young woman), an endoscopy capsule (designed to photograph the small intestine) and Dr Gregory’s Stomachic Powder (a patent laxative developed locally, in Edinburgh’s Morningside);
As well as objects, illustrations and manuscripts the exhibition has two touchscreens – one exploring the historical origins of various food items which were used as medicines (such as lemons, sugar and ginger) and the other showing short interviews with modern-day patients and practitioners;
The exhibition looks at our relationship with food past and present and its use in medical practice. It does this through four themes: sourcing, eating, evacuating and controlling.
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CFP: Georgian Group Symposium. ARCHITECTURE & HEALTH 1660-1830 event to be held on Thursday 3 November 2022
The Georgian Group’s symposium, Architecture & Health: 1660-1830, will be held at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, on Thursday 3 November 2022. The hospital, shortly to celebrate its 900th Anniversary, was ‘repaired and beautified’ in the eighteenth century. Gibbs’s Great Hall and adjacent Grand Staircase, with its miracle murals by Hogarth, provided an extraordinary backdrop for the encounter between benefactors and their impoverished beneficiaries. The spaces in which medicine was studied and debated, and healthcare provided, are profoundly revealing of Georgian society. In the aftermath of the Great Plague of 1665, Britain enjoyed a medical revolution: science was hotly debated with ancient views challenged, and new knowledge and practice explored within the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, on the benches of anatomy theatres, in books, and in botanical gardens. New voluntary hospitals relieved poor people, and radical practitioners addressed chronic public health problems. As we recover from the pandemic which highlighted social inequalities in the nation’s health, this symposium will consider what we can learn from as well as about history.
Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following between 1660-1830:
- Designing health spaces: air, light, sanitation, and water. Spaces of medical knowledge; improvised field hospitals.
- Outside spaces: botanical gardens, spas, resorts, & therapeutic landscapes.
- Philanthropy, fundraising, & the arts
- Scientific & medical instruments, collections, & public displays.
- Public health & chronic disease, epidemiology, dispensaries.
- Rural, provincial, & imperial healthcare, including in transit and abroad.
Proposals are invited for 15-minute papers based on original research. We particularly welcome talks from and about under-represented communities, from archivists, conservators, and medical historians. Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words and a copy of your CV to Dr Ann-Marie Akehurst (email@example.com) by 8 April 2022. Any questions regarding the symposium should be sent to the same address.
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