10 February 2023 - 13 October 2023

Monday - Friday

10am - 4.30pm

Free entry

11 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JQ

‘Skin: A Layered History’ explores the changing meaning of skin from the 1500s to the present day.

Bringing together artefacts spanning scientific illustrations, early modern rare books, medicines, wax models, prostheses and sculptures, this exhibition uncovers the social, cultural and medical history of skin.

The exhibition is split into four themes. It starts by exploring the role of the skin as a boundary – one which might need to be breached to let out the disease trapped within.

It then moves on to uncover the history of skin diagnosis and treatment, including the role which scientific illustrations and wax models played in the development of dermatology. The exhibition then considers the history of skin markings – from scars to tattoos. Finally, the exhibition explores skin-related prejudice past and present, in the context of racism, sexism and classism.


To find out more about the exhibition and to arrange guided tours for groups please email us at library@rcpe.ac.uk

For press releases, images or other press-related information please email us at policy@rcpe.ac.uk