Grantee Spotlight: Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

Detail of Dr. Kilmer and Co.’s medicine advertisement, c. 1889

Norwalk’s Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum’s much-anticipated exhibit entitled, Health, Healing & Addiction in 19th Century America, opens April 8 and continues through Oct. 17, 2021. Having been postponed due to the pandemic, the project explores the birth of modern medicine and its scientific breakthroughs and features rare artifacts, instruments, costumes and photographs once owned by the Lockwood and Mathews families, as well as loans from major private collections and public institutions.

The exhibition investigates what history can teach us about germ theory, the Civil War and its medical legacy, changes in nutrition and self-care and the extraordinary breakthroughs in technology that rocked the medical establishment leading to the birth of modern medicine and public health.

This exploration also brings to light unconventional treatments and rising addiction rates, which were pervasive in the 19th century through the widespread access of popular and unregulated, over-the-counter “remedies” promising pain relief and improved health.

John Harley Warner, award-winning author and Avalon professor of the history of medicine at Yale University, served as the expert adviser for the exhibition, Health, Healing & Addiction in 19th Century America, which is curated by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz and sponsored in part by a Quick Grant from CT Humanities.

For more information on the exhibit, visit the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion website.

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