Alt Ref NoMP
TitleMedical Illustration and Photography
DescriptionCatalogued records:

Uncatalogued records: work books, also containing copy prints of all photos taken by Medical Illustration 1947-63 (series continues, without copy photos, to 1984); bound reports on the department's work; loose photographs (views of SBH taken after 1947, copies of earlier photographs made by Medical Illustration, photos of Archives & Museum objects); artwork, drawings and designs by Peter Cull (medical artist of SBH).
Related MaterialA large collection of photographs and copy prints taken by Medical Illustration 1947-1984, and originally filed in filing cabinets in the department, by subject, are being catalogued as part of SBHX8.
Administrative historyThe first official resident artist at St Bartholomew's Hospital was W A Delamotte, who was appointed in 1842. His role included instructing students in anatomical drawing, and also acting as librarian. He was replaced in 1852 by Thomas Godart. He asked for the position of artist/librarian to be separated into two roles, a wish that was granted in 1881. In the same year he also brought about the purchase of the Hospital's first photographic apparatus, and became the first official photographer.

The Medical Illustration and Photography Department was officially established just after World War II, in 1947. This was in part due to the work of Zita Stead, a talented artist and expert in photomicrography, who began her association with the Hospital as a freelance artist in the Anatomy Department. At around the same time the photography section was growing, under the influence of Norman Harrison. Harrison started his career as a press photographer, but during the War he began to take pictures of sick and injured casualties, and discovered that he found it much more interesting than his Fleet Street work.

The department continued to expand from that time onwards. By 1980, they were moving into purpose-built facilities in the new Robin Brook Centre. Since 1990 they have also undertaken work such as the designing and printing of posters and pamphlets for the Hospital, as well as their more traditional work. It has been a general principle that photography was used to record the condition of the patient and as an objective check on their subsequent progress and response to treatment; drawings were mostly used for anatomical illustration and illustration of surgical technique, which requires a reflective and interpretive approach. Drawing is considered better for communicating information and ideas, rather than tangible objects.
Access statusOpen
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