Cover image for This way madness lies : the asylum and beyond
This way madness lies : the asylum and beyond
This way madness lies : the asylum and beyond
Jay, Mike, 1959 December 14- author, curator.
Publication Information:
New York, New York : Thames & Hudson, 2016.
Physical Description:
255 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Is mental illness-- or madness-- at root an illness of the body, a disease of the mind, or a sickness of the soul? Should those who suffer from it be secluded from society or integrated more fully into it? This book explores the meaning of mental illness through the successive incarnations of the institution that defined it: the madhouse, designed to segregate its inmates from society; the lunatic asylum, which intended to restore the reason of sufferers by humane treatment; and the mental hospital, which reduced their conditions to diseases of the brain. Rarely seen photographs and illustrations drawn from the archives of mental institutions in Europe and the U.S. illuminate and reinforce the compelling narrative, while extensive 'gallery' sections present revealing and thought-provoking artworks by asylum patients and other artists from each era of the institution and beyond.

"This Way Madness Lies is a thought-provoking exploration of the history of madness and its treatment as seen through the lens of its proverbial home: Bethlem Royal Hospital, London, popularly known as Bedlam. The book charts the evolution of the asylum through four incarnations: the eighteenth-century madhouse, the nineteenth century asylum, the twentieth-century mental hospital, and the post-asylum modern day, when mental health has become the concern of the wider community. The book reveals the role that the history of madness and its treatment has played in creating the landscape of the asylum, in all its iterations. Moving and sometimes provocative illustrations sourced from the Wellcome Collection's extensive archives and the Bethlem Royal Hospital's archive highlight the trajectory of each successive era of institution: founded in the optimistic spirit of humanitarian reform but eventually dismantled amid accusations of cruelty and neglect. Each chapter concludes with a selection of revealing and captivating artwork created by some of the inmates of the institutions of that era. This Way Madness Lies highlights fundamental questions that remain relevant and unresolved: What lies at the root of mental illness? Should sufferers be segregated from society or integrated more fully? And in today's post-asylum society, what does the future hold for a world beyond Bedlam?" -- Publisher's description
General Note:
"This book is published in partnership with Wellcome Collection for the exhibition 'Bedlam: the asylum and beyond', curated by Mike Jay and Bárbara Rodriguez Mun̋oz, held at Wellcome Collection, London, from 15 September 2016 to 15 January 2017"--Page 255.
The madhouse : 18th century -- The lunatic asylum : 19th century -- The mental hospital : 20th century -- Beyond the asylum : 21st century.
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