Download e-book for iPad: An Infinity of Things: How Sir Henry Wellcome Collected the by Frances Larson

By Frances Larson

Richly illustrated all through, together with eight pages of colour plates, An Infinity of Things tells the tale of the best inner most assortment ever made, and the lifetime of the guy in the back of it. American-born Henry Wellcome made his thousands as one of many world's first pharmaceutical marketers. Drawing on his monstrous wealth, he deliberate an outstanding museum choked with treasures from all corners of the globe, charting the heritage of human wellbeing and fitness from prehistory to the current day. Demonstrating what can occur while a collector's aspirations are left unconstrained by way of wealth, Frances Larson explores Wellcome's lifestyles via his possessions, revealing the various tensions in his personality: among his skills as a businessman and his wish for scholarly reputation; his interest and his perfectionism; and his philanthropic aspirations and his force for private glory. in the course of the establishing a long time of the 20 th century he obtained a suite so huge that later generations of employees took to describing its contents via the ton. yet Wellcome's museum was once by no means comprehensive, and his assortment used to be nonetheless saved in giant warehouses while he died, unseen and incomplete.

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Preparation of the manuscript was endlessly postponed. Employing a group of people to undertake the research proved to be logistically complicated. Thompson’s and HoVmann’s contributions were sent back to Wellcome’s original researcher, William Brown, who revised them, but stalled for many months. Thompson then revised the revisions. All the while, Wellcome, with Thompson’s able assistance, was Wnding more books and manuscripts of interest: the history of animal products used in medicine was hardly a modest subject.

One group of advertisements drew on the Chaldean mythologies of ancient Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, and Babylonia, and debates on the historical accuracy of the selected images ensued. Wellcome’s research staV informed him that ‘there is no winged sun in Assyrian design . . it does not appear until the Egyptian period, we are inserting a sun without wings, and shall be glad to know if this has your approval’. A few days later, the design team were ‘fortunate enough to Wnd a good Assyrian Sun and it has been thought better to substitute it for the rayed emblem which consists of a couple of outspread wings supporting a deity and which Mr C.

As he researched, his vision for this history project developed. He became interested in all phases of medical culture, from the remedies concocted by the ancient Greeks, to the intricacies of contemporary Hindu medical practice. 16 He envisaged an encyclopaedic anthology of references gathered from libraries, museums, and eyewitness accounts, which he would distil into a single illustrated volume. In this, Wellcome’s personal predispositions reXected the conWdence of the age in which he lived.

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