In Sickness and In Health: British Art and Medicine, Past and Present

An 18th century watercolour illustration depiction a long line of disgruntled patients queuing outside his house. The doctor leans out of a top window and squirts them all with the contents of a syringe

Date: 10th June 2021 - 30th July 2021

Every fortnight

Location: Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum

Time: 18:00 - 19:00

ONLINE LECTURE SERIES! Comprising ten talks between June and October, this series explores the relationship between art, science and medicine.

Please book your free place to any of these lectures to receive a link by email to view online. The talks are live, 35 mins long with an opportunity to ask questions at the end. Part 2 of this fascinating series is coming in September and October.


Medieval Bodies

with Jack Hartnell. Thursday 10th June, 6pm. 

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This talk explores medieval approaches to art and medicine, and the similarities to modern day methods. We will examine visualisations of the medical self in the Middle Ages and throw light on the medieval body from head to toe, revealing the sophiticated medical knowledge of the time in the process.

Dr Jack Hartnell is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of East Anglia, and published the critically acclaimed book, 'Medieval Bodies: Life, death and art in the Middle Ages'. His research and teaching focus on the visual culture of medieval and early modern Europe and the Middle East. 


Collecting Art for Science: Medical Art at the Science Museum

with Katy Barrett. Thursday 17th June, 6pm

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Opened in November 2019, Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries showcases five major new art commissions at the Science Museum, London. Working across sculpture, photography, kinetic installation, portraiture, symbol and diagram, the artists have created striking interventions into both the galleries and the entwined histories of art and medicine. This lecture discusses the artists’ inspiration and what is different about working in a medical or science context.

Dr Katy Barrett is Curator of Art Collections at the Science Museum, London and is responsible for both collecting and commissioning art, advising across the Science Museum Group.

Art and Anatomy, 1500-1900: a short tour

with Katie Birkwood. Thursday 1st July, 6pm 

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In this talk, examples of anatomical illustration drawn from rare books in the Royal College of Physicians library will reveal 400 years of medical art. Learn about the changing techniques and artistic styles employed by physicians, surgeons, artists and printers to represent the three-dimensional human body on the two-dimensional page.

Katie Birkwood is the rare books and special collections librarian at the Royal College of Physicians, where she cares for more than 20,000 books on subjects ranging from medicine to music, surgery to spherical geometry.

Lyndall Phelps and Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum

with Lyndall Phelps. Thursday 15th July, 6pm

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Lyndall Phelps’ talk will focus on her two-decade association with Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, and the artworks that arose from it. The relationship began in 2002 and in 2017 Lyndall was invited to create a permanent installation for the entrance to the Pump Rooms, resulting in large-scale vinyl artworks on the external glazing and interior walls of the building. 

Describing herself as an enthusiastic amateur of many things, Lyndall’s art practice embraces extensive research and collaborating with a variety of people, from pigeon fanciers to radar scientists. Science, history and the natural world, particularly ornithology, botany and horticulture, are recurring themes.

Picturing the Doctor: The Changing Face of Medicine in the 18th and 19th Centuries

with Jane Simpkiss. 22nd July, 6pm

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This talk examines how doctors were depicted, for better or worse, during this period and what visual images tell us about the expectations we place on the people we entrust our health to.

Jane Simpkiss is the Curator of Art at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum and the curator of the current exhibition in the main gallery ‘A Picture of Health: Art, medicine and the body’.


Cost: FREE

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