Studying the history of the Grahamstown Lunatic Asylum under the medical superintendency of Dr Thomas Duncan Greenlees (1890-1907), the nature of imaging the institution emerged as a point of interest. This article specifically explores how Greenlees promoted and popularised the asylum in order to gain custom from private patients. I argue that one way in which Greenlees created patronage was through the cultivation of a public image of the asylum as ideally suited to the care of middle class patients, as well as promising restoration and recuperation from insanity. In this manner, the image-making of the asylum provided a vital tool to counter public fears and stigma. Furthermore, Greenlees's image-making acted as a form of public relations with the broader community to initiate public confidence in the establishment.
Du Plessis, Rory(Historical Association of South Africa, 2015-05)
By exploring the significant role played by the medical superintendents of lunatic
asylums, there is a possibility of enriching our understanding and appreciation of
the varieties of asylum culture. Said differently, by ...
This essay investigates photographs taken at the Grahamstown Lunatic Asylum
during the superintendence of Dr Thomas Duncan Greenlees, from 1890 to
1907. It examines two specific sets of photographs: first, the photographs ...
In this article, I argue that casebook photographs of the mentally ill can potentially move beyond
a record of a clinical case, to bring into view an understanding of patients as individual subjects.
My argument is based ...