Advertising for Health

February 19 2010 - April 19 2011
Fifth Floor, Collection Galleries

Advertising for Health invites the viewer to explore nearly a century of advertising for medicine, pharmacy, and public health. The installation features rare advertisements, printed ephemera, and posters from a recent gift by William H. Helfand, an author and print collector. Together with a selection of printed materials and objects from a rarely-exhibited segment of The Wolfsonian collection, these works reflect through their design strategies changing ideas about health in the Americas and Europe between the late nineteenth century and the Second World War.

A complementary exhibition, Bernarr Macfadden and the American Physical Culture Movement: Selections from the Gift of Robert J. Young, on view in The Wolfsonian Rare Book Library on the third floor, focuses on Bernarr Macfadden, a pioneer of the American physical culture movement, a body-builder, and a self-made millionaire. Macfadden used his publishing empire to distribute popular magazines and books that championed his crusade against Victorian prudery, exposed early twentieth-century medical establishment quackery, and advocated better living through a healthy diet and physical fitness.

Advertising for Health was organized on the occasion of the inaugural year of the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. The exhibition and related public programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.