Bicentenary Banner Displayed Ahead of Fifth Lecture

A banner marking the Royal Edinburgh Hospital bicentenary has been displayed.

The banner which was fixed on the Kennedy Tower recently, is in place ahead of the fifth lecture in an eight-part series commissioned by the hospital to mark its 200 years of pioneering mental health care provision across Lothian. 

Speaking about the banner’s arrival, Director of Operations at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Tim Montgomery, said: “It’s great to have the banner as a visual countdown marker of the bicentenary.

“We have a lot of events planned throughout the coming months to commemorate this historic milestone and we hope that staff and members of the public will join us in these celebrations.”

The next lecture, ‘Hungry lions, kangaroos and bruised reeds: patient art at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in the 19th century’ takes place on Wednesday 13 March 2013.

Dr Maureen Park, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Open Studies, University of Glasgow, will use the archive of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital to examine the reasons why, and the extent to which, drawing was promoted as ‘therapeutic’ activity in the hospital.

The lecture will be fully illustrated and will look at the surviving drawings produced by patients such as William Bartholomew, John Myles and John Willis Mason at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, and locate their productivity within the wider context of hospital art.

In celebration of its bicentenary this year, the Royal Edinburgh Hospital has commissioned an eight-part lecture series highlighting 200 years of pioneering mental health care provision across Lothian.  The series began in October and runs until June 2013.

Dr Maureen Park, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Open Studies, University of Glasgow, said: “We will be looking at some of the most remarkable archival material for art activity in British asylums with a very strong focus on Royal Edinburgh Hospital patients, pauper and paying in the 19th century.

“That the images survive at all is remarkable in itself as they were often viewed merely as the work of insane minds and thus unworthy of preserving.

“These works also add to our understanding of art as an important therapeutic activity offered in many asylums in Scotland, UK, Europe and America.”

The series is supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Scottish Government and the lectures cover a wide variety of the rich and diverse history of the hospital from the early 19th century to the present day.

Tickets for this lecture are available on a first come first served basis by contacting 0131 537 6399.

Further information on the lecture series and leaflet, which can be downloaded, are available via the NHS Lothian website at: www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk/GoingToHospital/Locations/REH/Bicentenary

To coincide with the lecture series, Lothian Health Services Archive (LHSA) has launched its Royal Edinburgh Hospital Archive Appeal.  The LHSA is looking for donations of photographs, letters, books or objects dating from the 18th century to now, to supplement and complement NHS Lothian’s existing, rich archive. The LHSA can be contacted at lhsa@ed.ac.uk or on 0131 650 3392.

01/03/2013