The new technique of photography was quickly adopted by asylum physicians from the 1850s for a variety of purposes: for patient identification, to explore the role of physiognomy (facial shape and expression) in understanding diagnoses of mental illness, or to investigate the role of heredity in its onset, to name but three. There are a number of different types of these images in the Bethlem collections: from full-length society-style portraits, to institutional 'mug-shots' pasted into casebooks. All of these photographs show images of real people.
In this short survey, you will be asked to look at three different nineteenth-century photographs of patients at Bethlem and record your thoughts and feelings about each. You will then be asked three short questions about how and why these pictures might be publicly displayed. Your answers will help us in designing the new Museum of the Mind (to open at Bethlem in 2014).You can scroll back to look at them again at any point by clicking the "Prev" button - your answers to later questions will be saved.