Historical Illustrations of Skin Disease: Selections from the New Sydenham Society Atlas 1860-1884

September 14, 2015

Historical Illustrations of Skin Disease: Selections from the New Sydenham Society Atlas 1860-1884 will open on Thursday, September 17 in the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven.

The Atlas of Skin Diseases was one of the first publications undertaken by the New Sydenham Society in 1859. Time-consuming and costly to produce, it was issued in seventeen parts over a period of twenty-four years. 

Curated by Drs. Jean Bolognia and Irwin Braverman, Professors of Dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine, and Susan Wheeler, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Yale Medical Library, the exhibition presents these celebrated nineteenth century illustrations to a current, clinical audience, making a relevant teaching point with each plate. Twenty-five of the Atlas’ forty-nine plates are selected for display. They depict cutaneous diseases ranging from the common, e.g. psoriasis and eczema, to the rare, e.g. iododerma and systematized epidermal nevi. Examples of skin signs of systemic disease, including Addison’s disease, neurofibromatosis, and lupus erythematosus, are also shown. The emotional toll which these chronic diseases inflicted upon patients is a striking feature of the many portraits on view. 

The exhibition is on view until January 10, 2016.