The Story of Marjorie Winslow and her Medical Moulages

In the collections of the Museum of Health Care, there are 136 artefacts in the “Dr. Robertson/Marjorie Winslow Collection.” The majority of these are medical moulages– wax models of the ways different diseases and pathological conditions affect the human body. They were some of the very first artefacts to be added to the museum’s collections, and at first, the artist’s identity was a mystery. After connecting with people who had known Dr. Robertson, who had used the moulages for teaching at Queen’s University, Marjorie Winslow’s name could be confidently affixed to her art.⁠

Photo courtesy of the Brockville Museum

Marjorie Winslow was by no means only a wax sculptor, but created art, medical and otherwise, in many different mediums. She was born in Montreal in 1907, and studied there at the Museum of Fine Arts and L’École des Beaux Arts. She lived in Kingston with her husband from 1939 to 1946, and helped with art classes at Queen’s University. She learned moulage from an artist brought from Johns Hopkins by Dr. Robertson, and would attend operations at Kingston General Hospital, reproducing what she had seen there from memory and working with Dr. Robertson to get the proportions and colours just right. She later moved back to Montreal and worked as an artist with famous neurosurgeon Dr. Wilder Penfield, helping map the human brain as he explored it.⁠

Somatotype Wax Model -Museum of Health Care 996003128
Pelvic Instructional Model – Museum of Health Care 996003123

Later in life, Winslow lived in Brockville, Ontario, and upon her death in 1998, the Friends of the Brockville Museum mounted an art show to celebrate her life and work, featuring pieces of art borrowed from several people in the town who owned some of her work. In addition to her moulages at the Museum of Health Care, some of her Christmas cards are housed in the collections of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre!⁠

To learn about these artifacts and more, visit our online collection catalogue by clicking the button below.

Shaelyn Ryan <br>(Collections Technician/Assistant 2022)
Shaelyn Ryan
(Collections Technician/Assistant 2022)

Shaelyn Ryan is a recent graduate of Queen’s University, having completed her Bachelor’s degree in History in 2021, and is returning to Queen’s in the fall to pursue a Master’s degree in History. Either as a Summer Student or Work-Study Student through Queen’s University, Shaelyn has helped catalogue and research many of the museum’s collection of artefacts as a Collections Technician (since 2018). 

One thought on “The Story of Marjorie Winslow and her Medical Moulages

  1. Would this be the same Marjorie Winslow who was a resident of the Rosedale Retirement Home in Brockville around 1992-93? If so, she did a painting of my mom (Evelyn Brown) who was a Health Care Aide at the home and passed away in March 93. I am trying to acquire this painting. Any help is appreciated.

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