Il Museo della Mente

Estate of Bryan Charnley

Non pareva anche a voi che a Londra mancasse un museo, ce ne sono già così pochi, per fortuna ora c'è, il Museo della Mente, presso l'istituzione psichiatrica più antica del mondo, la Bethlem Royal Hospital, ha aperto da poco, come sempre nel miglior ed efficiente sistema inglese, via non perdere.

Bethlem Royal Hospital was founded in 1247 and was the first institution in the UK to specialise in the care of the mentally ill. The hospital continues to provide in-patient care as part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and has been based since 1930 in the outer London suburbs.

The Archives and Museum service at Bethlem Royal Hospital was established in 1970, and has been managed by a registered charity, the Bethlem Art and History Collections Trust, since 1992. We are a place of deposit for public records and an accredited museum.

The Archives and Museum offer an unparalleled resource for the history of mental healthcare and treatment. We care for the archives of Bethlem Royal Hospital, the Maudsley Hospital and Warlingham Park Hospital, and a collection of historic objects and art, including works by former Bethlem patients such as Jonathan Martin, Richard Dadd and Louis Wain.

Our small museum is open to the public free of charge and the archives can be accessed by appointment. We have a wealth of resources to support learning and offer group visits, outreach sessions and regular events.

We are in the process of leaving our current cramped accommodation and moving (together with our partner organisation, the Bethlem Gallery) to the original Administration Building at the heart of the Bethlem Royal Hospital site. We expect to be open to the public on Wednesday 18 February 2015.

The ‘Museum of the Mind’ project will provide new gallery and learning spaces, secure our unique collections for future generations and enable us to bring more works of art and objects out of the stores. The Administration Building’s grand art-deco staircase will provide a fitting showcase for the world renowned statues of ‘Raving’ and ‘Melancholy’ Madness, which originally stood above the gates of 17th century ‘Bedlam’.

This exciting project has attracted generous funding from Maudsley Charity, the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and the Foyle Foundation. We still need to raise around 5% of the total project costs, and all donations are welcome. Please see our support page if you are able to help.

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