STUDY ROOM | 10.06.2021 – 14.11.2021
What did people actually see as healthy over 500 years ago? With the advent of letterpress printing in the fifteenth century, a multitude of everyday vernacular “health guides” were produced. These included treatises on herbal medicine, women’s health, and dietetics, which examined questions regarding proper nutrition, sleep patterns, and hygiene. They also included notes on bloodletting and the significance of planetary constellations, which naturally could not be left out. Looking at these books, it quickly becomes clear that the idea of holistic preventive health care is not in fact a modern approach. What parallels and, particularly, what contrasts to our current concepts can we discover? The cabinet exhibition seeked to explore precisely this historical zeitgeist of health care based on sixteenth-century “guides” and graphics from the collection.