A paperback book which provides a thorough insight into Henry Wellcome's collections.
With a particular interest in anthropology and the history of medicine, and with ambitions to create a 'Museum of Man', Henry Wellcome (1853 - 1936) built up one of the world's largest but least known museum collections: it has been estimated that in 1930 it was some five times the size of the Louvre. Now scattered among numerous institutions and studied in a wide range of disciplines, the collection spans centuries and continents, and includes both the beautiful and the banal.
This book explores the collection's contribution to contemporary understandings of health and well-being, providing an intriguing insight into the history of collecting along the way.
Following an introduction to Wellcome and his 'phantom museum', seven lively, personal and thought-provoking essays by experts in each of the fields represented use different corners of his collection to make connections with contemporary issues and to show how meaning is created from the stuff of the past.