Art of Psychiatry Society

Art of Psychiatry meeting: Henry Hering “Before and After” speaker Caroline Smith – Thurs 17 Nov – viewing of exhibition in Maudsley Hospital Long Gallery 1745-1815hrs then Robin Murray Rm A in the IoPPN – All welcome!
November 2, 2016, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Photography

















Upcoming Art of Psychiatry speaker meeting :

Date: 17 November 2016
Venue/time: Viewing of exhibition in Maudsley Hospital Long Gallery 1745-1815hrs then Robin Murray Rm A in the IoPPN (see directions below)

Please join us for our last AoP meeting of the year!

We’re delighted that Caroline Smith, Interim Director of the Bethlem Museum of the mind will join us to speak about the current Maudsley Hospital Long Gallery exhibition “Before and After”, and exhibition of photographs of Bethlem patients from the mid-19th Century.

Between 1857 and 1859 Regent Street portrait photographer Henry Hering made several visits to Bethlem Royal Hospital, then at St George’s Fields, Southwark. He photographed several patients on the general wards as well as in its criminal department.  These photographs more closely resemble ordinary portraits of the time rather than the ‘passport’ images of later asylum photography and capture individuals who have left little trace in the historical record. It is likely that he was attempting to document what was then known as the “physiognomy of insanity” or to provide evidence for the success of Bethlem’s new regime, though no record of his intentions has been kept. Whatever his purpose, the enduring result is a striking record of institutional life in mid-Victorian Britain.

Caroline Smith is currently Interim Director at Bethlem Museum of the Mind and part of a team behind Bethlem’s new Museum of the Mind (opened February 2015). Caroline also works as a freelance lecturer on painting and the history of art. She has a particular interest in early photography and in 2012-13, received funding from the National Portrait Gallery to support further research into the Bethlem photographs of Henry Hering.

About the Long Gallery:

Some of the photographs from the exhibition:

This is an open meeting and all are welcome (including SLaM employees, psychiatry trainees, service users, members of the public).  No need to book.  It’s okay to turn up late.  Entrance is free!

Crisps and wine available.

Contact us:


How to find the Long Gallery:
– Enter the Maudsley Hospital through the main entrance on Denmark Hill. Turn left past the reception desk and follow the signs to the Long Gallery.

How to find the Maudsley Hospital

How to find the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) for Robin Murray A:

American Asylums: Moral Architecture of the 19th Century
June 14, 2013, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Photography

Hudson State Hospital

[click on the picture to see it in full]

Jeremy Harris is a New York based commercial and fine art photographer.  His ongoing project American Asylums: Moral Architecture of the 19th Century documents abandoned American asylums.

“When I started the project, I was originally drawn to the architecture and photographing the architecture,” he says in a Mother Jones interview. “But then as I visited more and more sites …  it was also sort of to document the spaces before they’re gone”

The grand scale of the buildings is evident from many of the shots.    “The original designers of the buildings wanted them to be therapeutic for the people who lived in them” says Harris.  “That’s why they built massive hallways, [with] lots of light, [and] pleasant colours”.  One picture shows a huge abandoned theatre – a reminder that these were total institutions cut off from the wider community.


[click on the picture to see it in full]

Harris finds numerous patient artifacts in the places he visits.  Many are anonymous and appear carelessly abandoned; wheelchairs sit idle in corridors and baths and beds remain where they were used.  But he finds personal effects too and one room has what look like patient files strewn around.

No doubt the asylums are eerie to visit but they’re also evocative places.  “When I come across a particular patient room … one of the things I like to do it to sit in the room and to imagine what it was to be patient in that room and not be able to leave” says Harris.


[click on the picture to see it in full]



[click on the picture to see it in full]


Guardian newspaper slideshow June 3 2013

Jeremy Harris blog post: Athens state hospital


Thanks to Jeremy Harris for permission to use his photographs for this posting.  All the above photographs are (c) Jeremy Harris

March 19, 2012, 7:33 pm
Filed under: Photography

SELPH: innovative community photo group for people with experience of illness opens first exhibition in Peckham, 29 March.

The Southeast London Photography Group opens its first ever public exhibition at 6pm Thursday 29th March, at New Gallery, 92 Peckham Road.

The group offers people with recent experience of illness the unique opportunity to take photographs and use them to express and reflect on their experiences. It celebrates how modern media makes it easier than ever before to make and share images, and shows how this process of creativity and sharing can be good for personal and community wellbeing. 

None of the members are from a professional photography background, and all the pictures were taken with the same ‘one-design’ compact camera. Yet the images are inspiring, fresh and each photographer brings a unique perspective on Southeast London.

The group runs as a voluntary collaboration between members, a photographer, social researcher and psychiatrist, and is supported by the Maudsley Charity. The exhibiton runs from 29 March to 5 April. All are welcome! For more information see twitter @SelphGroup.