Press Release

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This exhibition explores the unconventional or afflicted human body and the way that it was recorded in photography from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. It examines the rhetoric of such images and asks some basic questions: How are physical anomalies represented in photography? How can they shape identity? And how do yesterday’s knowledge and technologies look at the beginning of the twenty-first century?
G.T. Williams & Bros.
Multiple Enchondroma
1870s
Albumen print
Collection of the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia
  The majority of the photographs were made in the United States, and many were made before the discovery of the medical techniques and drugs that we now take for granted, including antibiotics, psychotropic drugs, effective vaccines, and antiseptic surgery and childbirth. Most of the photos were taken for or by doctors for educational purposes. Some were made by professional portraitists, while documentary photographers and photojournalists produced others.
Unidentified photographer
Skull-Cap, Exhibiting Gunshot Fracture Near the Vertex by a Conoidal Musket Ball, Which Has Split Against the Lamina of the Left Parietal
1865
Albumen print
Collection of the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia
 
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