Upcoming Events

Collections Visit: Printmaking and Health

Public Event Series – Katie Birkwood, Jack Hartnell

  • 9 October 2023
  • Royal College of Physicians

There are two time slots for this event. One at 10:30am and one at 1pm.

This event is part of Printmaking for Change: Past and Present – the Paul Mellon Centre's new public events programme.

Using the fascinating early print collections of the Royal College of Physicians, this session will explore the roles played by printing, printers and print technology in the world of health. From diagrams in surgical manuals to moveable flap books demonstrating the body’s inner anatomical workings, printed objects have long helped medics debate how to care for changing bodies. The Royal College of Physician’s materials will provide us with a window into how bodies past were understood by artists, physicians, midwives and surgeons alike.

This programme is an introduction to the subject and is open to all.

Talks and workshops will take place at the Paul Mellon Centre, the British Museum, PageMasters and the Royal College of Physicians.

Talks at the Paul Mellon Centre will be streamed live via Zoom. Off-site workshops will be in person only.

This session has limited space and will require confirmation of attendance 24 hours prior to the event.

Registration via Eventbrite is required and opens 8 September.

Listing image credit: The Wound Man from the 1500 edition of the Fasciculus Medicinae (Little Bundle of Medicine)(detail), printed in Venice by Giovanni and Gregorio de Gregori.

About the speakers

  • Katie Birkwood is the Rare Books and Special Collections Librarian at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), where she cares for a library of 50,000 books amassed over the five-hundred-year history of the college. During more than a decade in this role she has developed and expanded her expertise in the history of printing, particularly as it relates to the history of medicine. She curated the critically acclaimed exhibitions Under the Skin: Anatomy, Art and Identity (2019), and Scholar, Courtier, Magician: The Lost Library of John Dee (2016). She has delivered numerous hands-on sessions introducing treasures of the RCP collections to wide-ranging audiences. She is co-supervising an AHRC-funded PhD research project on women’s ownership and use of medical knowledge as represented in the RCP library collection, and her personal research interests centre on the history of libraries’ book collecting, particularly at the intersection of personal and institutional book collections.

  • A black and white photograph of a man with black hair

    Jack Hartnell is an associate professor of art history in the School of Art History and World Art Studies at the University of East Anglia. He is an art historian and curator, with particular specialisms in the cross-continental visual culture of premodern science and its display, broadly defined to include cutting-edge research and curatorial work on the artistic materials of medicine, cartography and mathematics, most recently with a strong emphasis on premodern Jewish art and culture. His most recent monograph, Medieval Bodies: Life, Death, and Art in the Middle Ages, was published in 2018 by the Wellcome Collection, London. It was a Sunday Times History Book of the Year and has been translated into eight international editions.