"Beautifully produced, lavishly illustrated and modestly priced, this is a splendid book that provides a stimulating introduction to its subject."
-- British Journal for the History of Science, June 2005
With a particular interest in anthropology and the history of medicine, and with ambitions to create a 'Museum of Man', Henry Wellcome (1853 - 1936) built up one of the world's largest but least known museum collections: it has been estimated that in 1930 it was some five times the size of the Louvre. Now scattered among numerous institutions and studied in a wide range of disciplines, the collection spans centuries and continents, and includes both the beautiful and the banal. This book will explore its contribution to contemporary understandings of health and wellbeing, providing along the way an intriguing insight into the history of collecting. Following an introduction to Wellcome and his 'phantom museum', seven lively, personal and thought-provoking essays by experts in each of the fields represented will use different corners of his collection to make connections with contemporary issues and to show how meaning is created from the stuff of the past. Designed to convey the astonishing scale and breathtaking range of subject-matter encompassed by the collection, Medicine Man will be a visual and intellectual feast.