Published upon the opening of the Wellcome Collection, the Wellcome Trust's new public venue in London, this book examines the history of our understanding of the human heart. Encompassing material from Henry Wellcome's own collections in the Wellcome Library and images and artifacts from private and public archives across the world, the book provides a richly illustrated account of changes in our perception of what the heart does and what it means.
The book first explores the symbolic significance of the heart in ancient Egypt, China, India, and Greece; its role in Aztec ceremony; and its place in the medieval world. It then considers the centrality of the heart in Christianity and other religions and the literary and artistic views of the heart as the seat of the soul and emotions.
The growth of anatomical knowledge of the heart and its treatment through developing technology is fundamental to the volume. Fifteenth-century drawings by Leonardo da Vinci reveal his extraordinary early insight into the heart's mechanisms, and twentieth-century medical breakthroughs prompt questions about ownership of the heart and the source of life itself. With testimony from surgeons and patients, the book highlights developments in cardiac surgery and considers future alternatives involving gene therapy, stem cell options, and micro-surgery.
Louisa Young: The Human Heart
Francis Wells: The Renaissance Heart
Emily Jo Sargent: The Sacred Heart
Fay Bound Alberti: The Emotional Heart
Ayesha Nathoo: The Transplanted Heart
Melissa Larner: The Healing Heart
Ted Bianco: The Animal Heart
Michael Bracewell: The Broken Heart
Jon Turney: The Future Heart
James Peto has worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and at the Design Museum, Science Museum, and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. He is curator of the Wellcome Collection's 2007 exhibition, The Heart.
Louisa Young: The Human Heart; Francis Wells: The Renaissance Heart; Emily Jo Sargent: The Sacred Heart; Fay Bound Alberti: The Emotional Heart; Ayesha Nathoo: The Transplanted Heart; Melissa Larner: The Healing Heart; Ted Bianco: The Animal Heart; Michael Bracewell: The Broken Heart; Jon Turney: The Future Heart.