Bethlem Museum cares for an internationally renowned collection of archives, art and historic objects. Maudsley Charity is the principal funder of Bethlem Museum of the Mind. Funding provided by the charity enables the museum to provide a comprehensive program of one off and on-going events, reducing stigma and promoting positive mental health through visitors, collaborative partnerships and an extensive educational programme.
The archives and museum were first established at Bethlem Royal Hospital in 1970 and has been managed as a charity, the Bethlem Art and History Collections Trust (BAHCT) since 1992.
In 2015 Maudsley Charity contributed a total grant of £2m to the relocation of Bethlem Gallery and Bethlem Museum of the Mind into a new home at Bethlem Royal Hospital. In the same year, it relaunched as Bethlem Museum of the Mind and was a runner-up in the 2016 Art Fund Museum of the Year Award.
The museum offers an unparalleled resource that captures the history of mental healthcare and treatment, including centuries of historical archives and material relating to Bethlem Hospital from its early beginnings as a priory in 1247. The museum holds over 1,000 works of art dating back over 200 years, including the work of Richard Dadd and Louis Wain, both patients at Bethlem Hospital.
The museum partners with other organisations across the cultural sector, including the Wellcome Collection, Tate Modern and the Royal Academy with the aim of widening access to our collections, contributing to the health and wellbeing agenda, as well as striving to de-stigmatise mental illness.
Bethlem Museum of the Mind holds exhibitions, offers talks and tours, internships and research opportunities, as well as a unique learning programme developed in partnership with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London for secondary and higher education groups.
The museum has a volunteering programme which includes formal training through South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, welcoming those with lived experience of mental health problems to interpret our collection for all our audiences.
Geeti recently went to the museum as part of its learning programme. She says, ‘Visiting the museum was an excellent opportunity and the students really enjoyed the day. They learned a lot from the workshop and it supported the A-level syllabus.
‘We really valued the opportunity to raise awareness about mental health and to learn about a working hospital. The most enjoyable part was the weekend workshop because it was collaborative group work and the students learned about care in the community as well as the involvement of families and professionals when supporting people with mental health problems.’
Thanks to your donations, we’re able to support innovative learning programmes like this that help raise awareness of mental health issues. Please help us to keep these projects running.