Behind Walls: Photography in Psychiatric Institutions from 1880 to 1935 (Hardcover)

Behind Walls: Photography in Psychiatric Institutions from 1880 to 1935 By Katrin Luchsinger (Editor), Stefanie Hoch (Editor) Cover Image
By Katrin Luchsinger (Editor), Stefanie Hoch (Editor)
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Drawing on previously untapped historical photo archives in Switzerland, a visual history of the modernization of psychiatric hospitals.
Many psychiatric hospitals in Switzerland house a treasure trove of historical photographs that go back to the nineteenth century and until now have never been studied properly. Glass slides and negatives, loose paper prints, and photo albums allow fascinating insights into the modernization of these establishments—and at the same time into the history of photography. Even as a new medium, photography 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 hospital residents’ modest celebrations, as well as leisure and creative activities.
Behind Walls gathers these visual testimonials of life and scientific practice in psychiatric institutions from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, making them accessible to the public for the first time. The accompanying essays critically study the use of photography as a medium in psychiatry from different perspectives.

About the Author

Katrin Luchsinger is an art historian and freelance publicist and curator working on topics such as art and psychology, material cultures, and inclusion. She was formerly professor at the Zurich University of the Arts’ Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts, 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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9783039420568
ISBN-10: 3039420569
Publisher: Scheidegger and Spiess
Publication Date: June 9th, 2022
Pages: 132