The Tayside Medical History Museum was founded in 1989 by staff from the University of Dundee Medical School. Based at Ninewells Hospital, the Museum is jointly managed by the University and NHS Tayside and, since 1995, its collections have been accessioned as part of the University’s Museum Collections.
The Museum stages temporary exhibitions on various aspects of medical history and its first honorary curator, Laura Adam, was also responsible for curating a number of art exhibitions in the hospital. Paintings represent just a small part of the Museum’s Collection and mostly comprise portraits of local medical personalities and benefactors. Many of these come from Dundee Royal Infirmary, which closed in 1998. Although latterly managed by the NHS, the Infirmary was originally a voluntary hospital, reliant on the time and money of Dundee’s citizens. Among those whose generosity earned them a portrait in the hospital’s boardroom are Mr and Mrs James Pullar, painted by a J. McD.; Sir James Key Caird, by David Simpson Foggie; and Lord Panmure, by Thomas Musgrave Joy. Medical figures whose portraits are in the Collection include surgeon John Crichton by John Gibson; Dean of Medicine, Professor William John Tulloch by A. C. G. Ross, and Head of Infectious Diseases, Dr William Maxwell Jamieson by Alberto Morrocco.
A number of medical portraits from the main University Fine Art Collections are also on display at Ninewells and are listed here, including the oldest painting in the University’s Collections, a portrait of Dundee doctor David Kinloch by an unknown artist, dated 1614 (along with a later copy of the painting attributed to Adam De Colone, one of three known to exist). This forms a fascinating contrast with the most recent portrait to enter the Collection, Andrew Hay’s powerful painting of a severely disabled patient, Hugh McColl.
Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museum Services, University of Dundee
Text source: PCF / University of Dundee, Tayside Medical History Museum Art Collection
This description was originally written for a catalogue.