Dittrick Medical History Center

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The Corlett Collection

Dr. William T. Corlett was professor of dermatology and syphilology at Cleveland’s Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The Corlett photography collection comprises more than 500 glass negatives, depicting a wide range of dermatological diseases and conditions. There are approximately 90 images depicting smallpox victims. The collection features 12 hand colored photographs used as illustrations in Corlett’s book Treatise on the Acute Infections Exanthemata (1901).To present illustrations as realistically as possible, Corlett arranged for Felix Meheux, “dessinateur et photographe” of the hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris to prepare the color photographs. Here is a sampling of photographs from the Corlett Collection. You may see more of these photographs in the online exhibit: Photographing Dermatology.

For an article on Corlett’s clinical photography by Paula Summerly, Ph.D., “Photographing Dermatology: The collections of Dr. William Thomas Corlett (1854-1948),” click here.  And on the collections of dermatological moulages and clinical photographs at the hôpital Saint-Louis, see Mary Hunter Ph.D., “ ‘Effroyable réalisme’: Wax, Femininity, and Realist Fantasies;” download the pdf here.

Page last modified: January 14, 2014