Professor Sharrona Pearl will deliver a lecture at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, NY at 8 p.m. on Monday, February 2.
The title of her talk is "Diagnosis, Madness: The Photographic Physiognomy of Hugh Welch Diamond".
Can we see ourselves better through the lens of others? Victorian asylum doctor Hugh Welch Diamond thought so. An important innovator of early photographic techniques, Diamond used pictures with his patients for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, staging his pictures to maximize their efficacy for both. Though photographic physiognomy, Diamond tried to change the nature of asylum practice, using images of his patients to nurture them to health without physical restraints. Tonight’s talk will examine his pictures, and at the same time, examine our own reactions to them, gauging not just what pictures of patients tell us about the past, but what they tell us about ourselves.