De Vleeshal`s exhibition Utrechtse Krop (Utrecht Goitre) showed unique medical historical photographs alongside work by Dutch photographer and artist Paul Kooiker (winner of the 1996 Prix de Rome for photography).
'Utrechtse Krop' (Utrecht goitre) was the name given to a thyroid condition once common in the Dutch town of Utrecht, due to a deficiency of iodine in drinking water. The exhibitionUtrechtse Krop in De Kabinetten van De Vleeshal centred around the appeal of illness and the fragility of our physical being. The photographs on display came from the archives of Utrecht`s university hospital – records of medical disorders, photographed since circa 1890.
In the early days of medical photography clinical standards had yet to be formulated for photographic images. Consequently, many photographs are more poignant and beautiful than they are scientific. Light, space and patients` complete submission to doctors and photographers evoke feelings of compassion, surprise, embarrassment and amusement rather than disgust or scientific curiosity.
Photographs by Paul Kooiker and from the Collection of the Utrechts Universiteitsmuseum;
with texts by Pam Emmerik, Patrick van der Hijden, Willem J. Mulder (all texts in Dutch).
On the occasion of the exhibition "Utrechtse Krop", De Kabinetten van de Vleeshal, Middelburg NL (21. 3. - 2.5. 1999)