Cloth $50.00 ISBN: 9780226749365 Published February 2012 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

The Art of Medicine

Over 2,000 Years of Images and Imagination

Julie Anderson, Emm Barnes, and Emma Shackleton

The Art of Medicine
See sample pages (PDF format).

Julie Anderson, Emm Barnes, and Emma Shackleton

With a Foreword by Antony Gormley
256 pages | 350 color plates, 50 halftones | 12 x 12 | © 2011
Cloth $50.00 ISBN: 9780226749365 Published February 2012 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

Since ancient times people have depended on medical practitioners to enhance life, to treat illness and injuries, and to help reduce pain and suffering. The scientifically based discipline that we know today stands beside diverse traditions, belief systems, and bodies of medical knowledge that have evolved in fascinating ways across cultures and continents. Throughout this history, successive generations have created artistic representations of these varied aspects of medicine, illustrating instruction manuals, documenting treatments, and creating works of art that enable individuals to express their feelings and ideas about medicine, health, and illness. From ancient wall paintings and tomb carvings to sculpture, installations, and digitally created artworks, the results are extraordinary and pay tribute to how medicine has affected our lives and the lives of our ancestors.  


Drawing on the remarkable holdings of the Wellcome Collection in London, The Art of Medicine offers a unique gallery of rarely seen paintings, artifacts, drawings, prints, and extracts from manuscripts and manuals to provide a fascinating visual insight into our knowledge of the human body and mind, and how both have been treated with medicine. Julie Anderson, Emm Barnes, and Emma Shackleton take readers on a fascinating visual journey through the history of medical practice, exploring contemporary biomedical images, popular art, and caricature alongside venerable Chinese scrolls, prehistoric Mesoamerican drawings, paintings of the European Renaissance, medieval Persian manuscripts, and more. The result is a rare and remarkable visual account of what it was and is to be human in sickness and health.

Review Quotes
“Portrayals of our grapplings with disease pop up throughout history. Medical historian Julie Anderson, with science communicators Emm Barnes and Emma Shackleton, survey a range of works from London’s Wellcome Collection that highlight medical practices, including paintings, anatomical drawings, scrolls and digital art. Two millennia of visual exploration from cultures such as ancient Persia and Renaissance Europe provide a stunning overview of how ideas about healing the body and mind have evolved.”
Richard Barnett | Lancet
“Lucid, panoramic, and erudite. . . . The Art of Medicine make[s] a compelling case for the value of medical history and the medical humanities—not merely as an adjunct to the triumphs and travails of the medical profession, but as the best window we have on humanity’s efforts to comprehend its own condition.”
Publishers Weekly
“[T]his visually arresting, wide-ranging, and informative collection presents an encyclopedic global history of the body, illness, and medicine.”
Brooklyn Rail

"The Art of Medicine deserves to be lauded for the variety and visual clarity of its images. The juxtaposition of ancient and modern, realistic and abstract, primitive and academic images reminds the reader of the numerous ways in which the body’s structure and functions have been represented over time."

Cynthia Doran | New York Journal of Books

“If pictures really were worth a thousand words, the selections contained here would equate to volumes of writings—serious, graphic novel, humorous, mysterious, fear-riddled, and awe-inspired. . . . With The Art of Medicine: Over 2,000 Years of Images and Imagination on your lap, a faraway gallery is made available—a gallery in which the past and the current worlds appear, both filtered through the art of medicine.”

ARLIS/NA Reviews

“[V]isually stunning. . . . The book would be a useful addition to public libraries with art or medical collections, and would serve the undergraduate as well as the graduate student.”

I. Richman, Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg | Choice
“[A] visual treat. . . . Anderson, Barnes, and Shackleton have created an incredible window into a major collection of immense importance featuring many rare and never before published objects, ephemera, and artwork. [The Art of Medicine] is a crossover book of great value to medical and art historians, ethnologists, and graphic designers. Highly recommended.”
Dorothy Porter | Journal of the American Medical Association
“[V]isually luxurious. . . . [The Art of Medicine] is a  dramatic sojourn chronicling grotesque, burlesque, and beautiful representations of the human experience of visceral existence and transformations in the depiction of its meaning, understanding, and intellectual significance in historical cultures.”
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