Title: J. Marion Sims: Gynecologic Surgeon, from “The History of Medicine”

Artist/Maker: Robert Thom

Date: ca. 1952

Source: University of Michigan Museum of Art

Copyright/Permissions: Courtesy of Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, UMHS.30

Location(s): Montgomery, Alabama, USA

Date posted: July 1, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on J. Marion Sims: Gynecologic Surgeon…

Categories: Experimentation Gender and Sex Gynecology Slavery and Medical Knowledge

Title: ‘Racial’ Synthetic sponge, London, England


Date: 1940-1960

Source: Science Museum, London

Copyright/Permissions: ‘Racial’ Synthetic sponge, London, England,1940-1960. Credit: Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Location(s): London, England

Date posted: January 30, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on ‘Racial’ Synthetic sponge, London, England

Categories: Eugenics Gender and Sex Gynecology Reproductive Medicine

Title: Orange-flowered plant, with example of a grey and orange moth, from an album of 91 drawings entitled ‘Merian’s Drawings of Surinam Insects &c’; with blue caterpillar and chrysalis Watercolour and bodycolour, with pen and grey ink, on vellum

Artist/Maker: Maria Sibylla Merian

Date: ca. 1701-1705

Source: The British Museum

Copyright/Permissions: © Trustees of the British Museum. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Location(s): Suriname


Date posted: January 30, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Orange-flowered plant

Categories: Enslaved Medicine and Healers Gender and Sex Gynecology Natural Medicine Reproductive Medicine

Title: Dr. James Marion Sims and nurse repairing a vesico-vaginal fistula patient. From Henry Savage, The Surgery, Surgical Pathology, and Surgical Anatomy of the Female Pelvic Organs, in a Series of Coloured Plates Taken from Nature. With Commentaries, Notes, and Cases. Second Edition. London, John Churchill & Sons, 1870. Hand-coloured lithograph, Folio – leaf: 313 x 240 mm.

Artist/Maker: J.B. Léveillé

Date: 1870

Source: Hagströmer Medico-Historical Library

Copyright/Permissions: Image Courtesy of the Hagströmer Medico-Historical Library, Karolinska Institutet

References: Owens, Deirdre Cooper. Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and The Origins of American Gynecology. Athens, GA: UGA Press, 2017.

Location(s): Montgomery, Alabama, USA; London, England

Commentary: U.S. physician James Marion Sims (1813-1883) experimented on enslaved Black women such as Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy, operating on them without anesthesia to develop various gynecological procedures (including a treatment for vesicovaginal fistula). Taken from a 19th century medical text, this image depicts Sim’s female patient as white, erasing Sims’s exploitation of Black women and the key role they were forced to play in the founding of modern gynecological medicine.


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