Description - Behind Walls: Photography in Psychiatric Institutions from 1880 to 1935 by Katrin Luchsinger

Many psychiatric hospitals in Switzerland house a treasure trove of historical photographs that go back to the 19th century and until now have never been studied properly. Glass slides and negatives, loose paper prints, and photo albums allow fascinating insights into the modernisation of these establishments - and at the same time into the history of photography. The medium that was new at the time was used by psychiatrists to record diagnoses, as well as to show the public life behind institutional walls. Thanks to increasingly handy cameras, it was also possible to record the modest celebrations, and leisure and creative activities. Behind Walls introduces these testimonials of life and scientific practice in psychiatric institutions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries that are accessible to the public for the first time. The essays critically study the use of photography as a medium in psychiatry from different perspectives. Text in English and German. AUTHORS: Katrin Luchsinger is an art historian and a freelance publicist and curator working on topics such as art and psychology, material cultures, and inclusion. She has taught as a professor at Zurich University of the Arts' Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts until 2019, where she directed various research projects on art and creativity in psychiatric institutions around 1900. Stefanie Hoch is a scholar of cultural studies and a curator at Thurgauer Kunstmuseum in Warth, Switzerland. SELLING POINTS: . Features for the first-time images from previously unresearched historical photo archives of psychiatric establishments in Switzerland . Illuminates and explains the use of these photographs e.g. for diagnosis, public relations work, and documentation of institutional life . Offers insights into the modernisation of psychiatric hospitals between 1880 and 1935 . The first book to address this highly current topic . Accompanies the Behind Walls – Photography in Psychiatric Institutions from 1880 to 1935 exhibition at the Prinzhorm Collection in Heidelberg, Germany (24 March to 31 July 2022), Thurgauer Kunstmuseum in Warth, Switzerland (2 October 2022 to 18 April 2023), and Psychiatrie Museum in Bern, Switzerland (26 May 2023 to April 2024) 35 colour, 66 b/w illustrations

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