Claire Jones, “Making a case for medicine”,

9 July, 5pm at the Thackray Museum, Becket St, Leeds


Ms Claire Jones will be discussing the making of her acclaimed exhibition “The Business of Medicine” at the Thackray Museum

9 July at 5 pm. This temporary exhibit arises from her PhD research with an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (University of Leeds, Centre for HPS). The exhibit closes on 21st June.

The abstract for he

r  talk is below – all are welcome !

Making a case for medicine: Devising and constructing a medical-history exhibition

In recent years, the history of medicine has been a popular topic addressed in museum exhibitions. The Wellcome Trust in London, for example, has a number of galleries, both with permanent and temporary displays, solely dedicated to the different aspects of the subject and of course, the Thackray Museum in Leeds is a museum solely dedicated to the interpretation and display of history of medicine in the modern period.

With ever more research emerging in the history of medicine, museum curators are finding new ways to interpret existing collections. No longer are exhibitions solely focused on the pioneers of modern medicine and the diseases these pioneers sought to combat. My exhibition titled “The Business of Medicine” covers new ground and for the first time in a medical museum, is an exhibition that addresses the commercial side of medicine. It addresses those involved in the processes of production of medical tools and pharmaceuticals, from the medical companies to the practitioners using these products, from new product design to marketing.

In this paper, I will outline the practical processes involved in the development and construction of a medical-history exhibition and how the development might be influenced by new and emerging academic perspectives. I will also discuss a range of factors that one should consider when devising and constructing a medical-history exhibition including restraints such as target audience and budget and more creative elements such as design. Indeed, most of these factors are relevant when devising and constructing an exhibition on any topic and can be used by curators devising and constructing an exhibition on any topic.