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Endurance and Suffering - Narratives of Disease in the 19th Century
Images and text kindly provided by
This online exhibition contains images and texts that may be considered disturbing and if you are of a sensitive disposition, or under 18, I would advise against viewing them. You have been warned.
Editorial note by Alan Griffiths
The book Endurance and Suffering - Narratives of Disease in the 19th Century is a complex work with multiple narratives and messages and is not easy viewing. The origins are in the case studies and notes of George Henry Fox (1846-1937) a leading American dermatologist. He arranged to have his patients photographed and most, but not all, of these were photographed by O.G. Mason the photographer at Bellvue Hospital in New York. Photomechanical prints were made for three books by Fox and they were hand-colored by Dr. Joseph Gaertner. With this we have the setting - medical illustrations but what do they tell us about the people?
Here this exhibition takes a different route and beneath the medical case notes are the poems by John Wood, photo-historian and poet, which take us into imagined realms of possibility. Make no mistake this is difficult viewing and reading and no American publisher would release it. When it was published in Germany it received the Deutscher Fotobuchpreis - Gold Medal for 2009 for Historical and Theoretical Photography. Luminous-Lint will continue to explore all aspects of the complex history of photography.
Private collection of John Wood.