To celebrate the International Year of Light, a new exhibition at the Florence Nightingale Museum will look at the contentious history of light therapy.
The Kiss of Light: Nursing and Light Therapy in 20th-century Britain opens on Florence’s birthday on May 12th 2015 and centres on the healing powers of light – and its risks. Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the exhibition showcases a remarkable photographic record of nurses and their vulnerable patients being exposed to both natural and artificial light. Light therapy was especially used for children to combat tuberculosis and rickets in clinics and sanatoria and even in the home by mothers eager to protect their child by exposing them to rays from trendy portable ultra-violet lamps. We may have very different ideas now towards light safety but the health and protection of our children remains an issue today.
Natasha McEnroe, Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum, says:
“We are delighted to be able to reveal the hidden role that nurses played in this ground-breaking treatment, often displaying highly technical skills and specialist knowledge. From Queen Alexandra introducing the amazing Finsen Light to the most junior nurse working in a TB sanatorium, women played a leading role in light therapy.”
Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 5pm
Address: Florence Nightingale Museum,2 Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EW
Nearest transport: Tube – Westminster, Waterloo, Lambeth North, Rail – Waterloo, Riverboat –London Eye Pier, Westminster Pier, Buses – numerous routes
Admission Prices: Adults £7.50, Child (under 16) £3.80, Concessions £4.80, Small Family £13.00, Large Family £18.00
Accessibility: Fully accessible for wheelchair users, including toilet facilities. Located on the site of St Thomas’ Hospital at parking level. For the deaf and hearing impaired there is a loop system as well as subtitles on all the films.