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Talk: Seeing Madness: Mental Health in Victorian Art

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How did the Victorians visualise madness?

Exploring how mental health and patient care were depicted in 19th Century art, writer Emily Turner looks at the difference between recording ‘madness’ and imagining ‘insanity’ in the Victorian era’s painting and photography.
Moving through the years of Victoria’s reign, she examines the cultural fascination with Ophelia and other ‘crazy women’ folk figures, as well as the related ‘feminisation’ of madness. Learn about Victorian artists’ representations of ‘lunatics’, look at how photography and sketching were used to record mental health patients for medical and sociological purposes, and discover how asylum inmates portrayed themselves.

Emily is a journalist & doctoral candidate at the University of Sussex, researching the medical humanities during the Victorian period.

Sunday 24th September 2pm

Talks are free to museum ticket holders, but please book in advance to ensure your place. Ask at the Welcome Desk or ring 01202 451820.

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  • John Everett Millais   Ophelia
  • Philippe Pinel à la Salpêtrière
  • Richard Dadd   The Fairy Feller

24th September 17 - 24th September 17