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.
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.
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.