Heimann Wolff Berend Collection of Photographs.

Berend, Heimann Wolff 1809-1873.

Berlin : sans publisher, sd [1852-1866].

Description : 105 photographs, drawings, lithographs.

Photographs : 98 albumens.

Photographer : L. Haase & Co. Königl. Hofphotographen (Berlin, Germany).

Subject : Orthopedics, Orthopedic Devices, Medical Anomalies.

Cited :

Brinkschulte, Eva, & Lemke Muniz de Faria, Yara, Patienten im Atelier : die fotografische Sammlung des Arztes Heimann Wolff Berend 1858 bis 1865 ; Fotogeschichte, Heft 80 (Juni 2001), pp. 17-27.

Taureck, Renata, Die Bedeutung der Photographie für die medizinische Abbildung im 19. Jahrhundert (1980) ; p. 194 :

In the "Allg. med. Central-Zeitung" 24 : 767 (1855) there is mentioned a lecture by Berend during which he showed examples from his photo collection of orthopedic cases, dating back to 1852. This is a reference to one of the earliest collections of clinical photographs, but unfortunately it is no longer intact.

Notes :

Although Taureck did not make the attribution which sources this collection to the great orthopedist Berend and his photographer L. Haase, she should be given a share of credit for its rediscovery. Taureck includes two images from the Berend collection in her book :

The Wellcome Library includes the following description with each of the Haase photographs in its archive of Berend material :

Photograph after H.W. Berend (1809-1873), an orthopaedic surgeon working in Berlin. The photograph is part of a collection produced by the professional photographer L. Haase who was working in Berlin at the time Berend's interest in photography was developing. The photograph was probably commissioned by Berend, and follows a similar aesthetic structuring to that of his other studies, which include pencil drawings, lithographs and woodcuts, sometimes after photographs. Berend was also probably the first German physician to employ photography as an aid to the systematic diagnoses of orthopaedic patients. It is possible that these photographs were comissioned by Berend to illustrate an atlas he was preparing, which documented his observations in a number of hospitals in Berlin. There is no record of the atlas' publication.

In an essay entitled "Patienten in Pose,"1 Eva Brinkschulte writes that the original Berend collection numbered over 1000 photographs and was long thought to be lost. In 2001 a group of scholars led by the Institut für Geschichte der Medizin searched the archives of the Wellcome Library and successfully located over 100 pieces of the original Berend collection among the library photographic archives. This accomplished a partial reconstitution of an archive that is important for the histories both of clinical photography and of orthopedic surgery. Berend oversaw the largest private psychiatric institute in Germany at the time, and is credited with a number of innovations in German orthopedic surgery including the first administration of ether and treatments for scoliosis and tabies. Berend was also a pioneer advocate of clinical photography and even though the praxis was in its infancy, he was cognizant of the ethical problems it engendered. Nineteenth century medical science privileged the colleaguial few and these photographs were never intended for viewing by the lay public. Brinkschulte writes :

Als photographische Anweisungen für den Mediziner postulierte Berend 1855, dass der Arzt die Situation genau bestimmen muß. Und er fügte hinzu, der Arzt frage sich stets auf welche Weise die Krankheit – in diesem Falle die Deformität – „in das rechte Licht tritt“. Der Arzt als Arrangeur wie gleichermaßen der auf Präzision und Objektivität ausgerichtete ärztliche Blick bleibt für unsere heutigen Sehgewohnheit im Hintergrund – die Deformität tritt nicht „in das rechte Licht“.

Regarding instructions for medical photography, Berend postulated in 1855 that the physician must precisely assess the situation. And he submitted further, that the physician should ask of himself in which way the disease — in this case deformity — "steps into the right light." The physician as Arrangeur keeps precision and objectivity commensurately aligned with a medical perspective, because for the fashionable view that is in the background today — deformity does not step "into the right light."

1 Brinkschulte, Eva, "Patienten in Pose"– Zu den Patientenbildern aus dem gymnastisch-orthopädischen Institut von Heimann Wolff Berend in Berlin 1840-1870. ; Jahrbuch des Deutschen Orthopädischen Geschichts- und Forschungsmuseums, Darmstadt 2001, S. 17-31.

©All rights reserved.