Spratt’s Flaps: Midwifery, Creativity, and Sexuality in Early Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In 1833, an unusual book was published in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin. Written and illustrated by the surgeon and artist George Spratt, Obstetric Tables stood out among midwifery guides of the period for its coloured lithographic illustrations, mobilised by the construction of paper flaps. This article explores the way these flap prints contributed to medical pedagogy, but also looks much more widely at their cultural resonances. Through their interaction with wider visual cultures, Spratt’s tables engaged not only with medical literature, but also with social anxieties over nudity and sexuality, midwifery and propriety, and the power of popular print. By studying Spratt’s tables alongside comic and satirical mobile prints, obscene and pornographic prints, and “fine art” nudes, this article demonstrates how medical images can be addressed as rich and complex resources for histories that are medical, visual, and cultural.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Art Studies
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Spratt’s Flaps: Midwifery, Creativity, and Sexuality in Early Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this