Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery At The UNISON Centre

The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery at the UNISON Centre tells the story of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, of the hospital she built, and of women’s struggle to achieve equality in the field of medicine.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson when young

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917) was determined to do something worthwhile with her life. In 1865 she qualified as a doctor. This was a landmark achievement.  She was the first woman to overcome the obstacles created by the medical establishment to ensure it remained the preserve of men.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson then helped other women into the medical profession, founding the New Hospital for Women where women patients were treated only by women doctors.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, by her example, demonstrated that a woman could be a wife and mother as well as having a professional career.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson worked to achieve equality for women, being especially active in the campaigns for higher education and ‘votes for women’.

In the early 1890s the New Hospital for Women (later renamed the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital) was built  on the Euston Road and continued to treat women until 2000. For some years this building then lay derelict until a campaign by ‘EGA for Women’ won it listed status. UNISON has now carefully restored the building, bringing it back to life as part of the UNISON Centre.

Two important rooms in the original 1890 hospital building have been dedicated to the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery. One is the

ORIGINAL ENTRANCE HALL

of the hospital which has been carefully restored to its original form. Here you can study an album, compiled specially for the Gallery, telling the history of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in words and pictures, while, in the background you can listen to a soundscape evocative of hospital life. This is  interwoven with the reminiscences of hospital patients, snippets from the letters of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and sundry other sounds to stimulate your imagination.

The main gallery

The main gallery

The other Gallery room is what was known when the hospital opened as

THE MEDICAL INSTITUTE

This was a room, running along the front of the hospital, parallel to Euston Road, set aside for all women doctors, from all over the country, at a time when they were still barred from the British Medical Association. It was intended as a space in which they could meet, talk and keep up with the medical journals.

Here you can use a variety of media to follow the story of women, work and co-operation in the 19th and 20th centuries.

A BACK-LIT GRAPHIC LECTERN RUNS AROUND THE MAIN GALLERY:

allowing you to see in words and pictures a quick overview of the life of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and of her hospital.

 

AT INTERVALS ARE SET SIX INTERACTIVE TOUCH-SCREEN MONITORS

-named –  Ambition, Perseverance, Leadership, Equality, Power in Numbers and Making Our Voices Heard – allowing you to access more information about Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, about the social and political conditions that have shaped her world and ours, and about the building’s new occupant – UNISON..

Each monitor contains:

TWO SHORT VIDEO SEGMENTS.

‘Elizabeth’s Story’. Follow the video from screen to screen. Often speaking her own words, the video uses images and voices to tell the story of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson’s life.

‘UNISON Now’ UNISON members tell you what the union means to them.

and four

INTERACTIVES 

‘Campaigns for Justice’ and ‘Changing Lives’.

 Touch the screen icons to discover how life in Britain has changed since the birth of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.

 AMBITION

Campaigns for justice

Victorian Britain: a society in flux

Victorian democracy: who could vote, and who couldn’t

Did a woman have rights?

Workers organised

Changing lives

The people’s lives in Victorian Britain

The medical profession before Elizabeth Garrett

Restricted lives, big ambitions: middle-class women in the Victorian era

Women workers in the first half of the 19th century

PERSEVERANCE

Campaigns for justice

The changing political landscape

Widening the franchise: can we trust the workers?

Women want to vote: the beginnings of a movement

Trade unions become trade unions

Changing lives

A new concept of active government: Victorian social reform

Women as nurses and carers

Living a life that’s never been lived before: women attempt to enter medicine

International pioneers: women study medicine abroad

LEADERSHIP

Campaigns for justice

Contagious Diseases Acts

Trade unions broaden their vision

Women and education

Women trade unionists

Changing lives

The middle-class century

Working women in the second half of the 19th century

Social reform, philanthropy and paternalism

Women doctors for India

EQUALITY

 Campaigns for justice

The women’s suffrage movement

The Taff Vale decision hampers the unions

The founding of the Labour party

The People’s Budget

Changing lives

Work and play

Marylebone and Somers Town

Did the working classes want a welfare state?

1901 – Who were the workers in the NewHospital for Women?

POWER IN NUMBERS

Campaigns for justice

The General Strike – 1926

The first Labour governments

Feminist campaigns between the wars

1901: The lives of working women in London

Changing lives

Work of women doctors in the First World War

Can we afford the doctor? Health services before the NHS

Wartime demand for social justice

The creation of the National Health Service 1945-1948

MAKING OUR VOICES HEARD

Campaigns for justice

Equality campaigns

Public sector unions before UNISON

UNISON brings public service workers together

Are trade unions still relevant?

Changing lives

The National Health Service becomes sacrosanct

Did the welfare state change the family?

Women’s equality today

Women in medicine now

 

IN THE CENTRE OF THE GALLERY YOU WILL FIND:

ENTERPRISING WOMEN

 an interactive table containing short biographies of over 100 women renowned for their achievements in Britain in the 19th-21st centuries. Up to four visitors can use the table at any one time.  Drag a photograph towards the edge of the table to discover details of that individual’s life. Or search by name or vocation, using the alphabetical or subject lists.

 

ON THE WALLS OF THE GALLERY

PROJECTIONS

show a changing display of pictures of the hospital as it was and of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and some of the other women whose stories the Gallery tells.

 

Garrett LaburnumTHE GARRETT CORNER

is designed in the style associated with the work of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson’s sister, the architectural decorator Agnes Garrett, who was in charge of the original interior decoration of the hospital in 1890. The Gallery’s fireplace is the only surviving example of Agnes Garrett’s work. Next to this hangs a length of wallpaper, ‘Garrett Laburnum’, re-created from one of her designs.

In the Garrett Corner a display case and a low table contain a small collection of objects relevant to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the hospital and early women doctors.

While here do sit down and browse the library of books. These relate to the history of women – in society, in medicine, in the workplace, and in trade unions  – and to the Somers Town area.

 

Plaque commemorating a substantial donation to the hospital by Henry Tate, industrialist and philanthropist

Plaque commemorating a substantial donation to the hospital by Henry Tate, industrialist and philanthropist

ACROSS FROM THE GARRETT CORNER IS A DISPLAY OF CERAMIC PLAQUES

Decorative plaques that used to hang beside patients’ beds, each commemorating a donor’s generosity.

You can read in detail about the work of the Garrett family in the fields of medicine, education, interior design, landscape design, citizenship and material culture in Elizabeth Crawford, Enterprising Women: the Garretts and their circle, published by Francis Boutle Publishers, £25. The book can be bought direct from womanandhersphere.com or click here to buy from the publisher

DO VISIT:

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery at the UNISON Centre

130 Euston Road

London NW1 2AY

Telephone: 0800 0 857 857

Open Wednesday to Friday 9.00am to 6.00pm

and the third Saturday of every month 9.00am to 4.00pm 

Admission Free

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  1. #1 by Wendy Savage on May 8, 2017 - 12:44 pm

    Just found this-excellent account of the exhibition gallery

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