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New Exhibition at the Countway:
"The Language of the Age: Depictions of Medicine in Graphic Satire"

An exhibition of late 18th- and early 19th-century graphic social satire, or caricatures, dealing with medical practice opens on October 14 at the Countway Library of Medicine. The exhibition, which includes prints by such prominent caricaturists as William Hogarth, Thomas Rowlandson, James Gillray, and George Cruikshank, is entitled "The Language of the Age: Depictions of Medicine in Graphic Satire." The exhibition—drawn from the Countway's holdings—shows that medical practice, which was undergoing significant changes as classical humoral pathology and its diagnoses and treatments were being contrasted with emerging scientific theories, proved a ripe field for social satire.

Caricatures generally expressed prevailing social and political attitudes, and enjoyed great popularity, especially in Britain. Intellectuals, politicians, clergy, the military, and practitioners of medicine were all subject to the pointed critiques of the satirist.

The exhibit continues until early April. For further information, contact Peter Rawson, visual images archivist, at 2-2173 or peter_rawson@hms.harvard.edu.

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Last modified on Tuesday, September 17, 2002.