Exhibition: "Rough Skin": Maize, Pellagra and Insanity in the Veneto, Italy, 1850-1900

Exhibition: "Rough Skin": Maize, Pellagra and Insanity in the Veneto, Italy, 1850-1900

Series Name ERSC "Rough Skin" Project Grant, based in School of History
Type Arts & Entertainment
When 07 Jun 2016 - 31 Aug 2016
Venue San Servolo, Venice, Italy (June and July 2016) and Museo del Risorgimento, Ferrara, Italy (August 2016)
Open To Public
Ticket Price Free
For Bookings Contact Professor David Gentilcore (History) dcg2@le.ac.uk

The ‘Rough Skin’ exhibition explores the impact of epidemic pellagra on the people of Italy during the late nineteenth century.

Pellagra, the tragic result of a diet based around maize polenta, affected several hundred thousand people, mostly poor peasants, leading to insanity in its latter stages. Using period photographs and based on original research, the exhibition documents how psychiatric hospitals like Venice’s San Servolo (for men) and San Clemente (for women) coped with what was then labelled ‘pellagrous insanity’ and how the disease impacted peasant families.

A specially commissioned short film will also be shown, produced by the London-based film-maker Martha Rose McAlpine.

The exhibition is part of the Rough Skin: Maize, Pellagra and Society in Italy, 1750-1930 research project, generously funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, grant ref. ES/K010212/1, and based at the University of Leicester.

The project’s Principal Investigator is Professor David Gentilcore, and the Research Assistant is Mr Egidio Priani.

More information about this event...

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