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ExhibitionThe Art of Nursing: Celebrating Modern Nursing

Since the 1980s, nurses have become far more conscious of the need to counteract gendered and sexist images with more accurate images of modern nursing work. Modernization of the nurses’ uniform, while not entirely eliminating the gendered, sexist fantasies that shadowed nursing’s image in the past, has created a new image of the nurse as a dedicated health care professional.

  • Four White medical staff standing around an operating table. Operating tools are in the foreground.

    An illustration of modern healthcare, ca. 1995

    Created by Virginia Powell

    Produced by The Wellcome Trust, London

    This illustration captures the concentrated atmosphere of teamwork in a modern operating room. Instead of showing medical staff wearing uniforms that demark professional hierarchies or gender divisions, clothing is functional for the task.

  • Nurses and doctors of various races and both genders tending to patients

    Nursing recruitment postcard, 1999

    Produced by Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, MD

    Hospital publicity in the 1990s began to present images of nurses as part of the modern health care team, highlighting gender and racial diversity and creating an impression of equality between different health care professionals.

  • A White female nurse pouring medicine into a spoon above a patient's bed.

    Centenary of the nursing profession commemoration card, 1961

    Created by R. Dyer

  • A White female nurse with short hair facing the right. America's Hospitals stamp on the right.

    Nursing commemoration card, ca. 1971

    Created by Herman Maul (1897—1983)

  • A White female nurse in a cape bottle feeding a baby at a hospital window, showing an autumnal view.

    An Autumn View from a Window, Dallas, TX, mid-20th century

    Produced by Methodist Hospital of Dallas

  • A White female nurse in scrubs, smiling and addressing a patient out of the image.

    On se dit qu'on n'est jamais assez humain (We say that one is never human enough), 1992

    Created by Manuel Aries

    Produced by Public Hospital System of Paris Museum

  • Three White females and one White male nurse, all in blue scrubs around a patient in a rolling bed.

    Nursing Care, 1999

    Created by Susan Macfarlane

    Produced by the British Post Office