An Idiosyncratic A to Z of the Human Condition

  • Exhibition
Photograph of the exhibition, An Idiosyncratic A to Z of the Human Condition, showing visitors exploring the space.
An Idiosyncratic A to Z of the Human Condition exhibition, Thomas SG Farnetti. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

This exhibition invited visitors to explore a unique A to Z – a curious combination of Henry Wellcome’s collection of objects, medical artefacts, paintings, photographs and sculptures, plus intriguing contemporary artworks.

They watched the birth of the first test-tube baby (B for Birthdays), listened to Florence Nightingale speak (V for Voice) and peeked at porcelain fruit showing sexual foreplay (X for X-rated). Each letter also invited visitors to participate. Under A for Acts of Faith, an illustrator sketched their recent mishaps in the spirit of nearby ex-voto paintings. Under F for Fears, they could discard their phobias next to a Nicobar Island figure used to ward off evil spirits.