Myths, Minds & Medicine

Myths Minds and Medicine

Myths, Minds, and Medicine was originally built in 1997 as a way to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Institute of Living, and to help lessen the stigma that has always surrounded mental illness. It was the result of several years of research conducted by historians hired through a grant the Institute of Living received from the Connecticut Humanities Council. Documents, artifacts, items of interest, letters, and old photos were gathered from the Institute of Living’s attics, archives, basements, and closed-up offices to form the basis for the exhibition. 

Now it’s been restored and updated, reflecting new approaches to care that mark the intervening 25 years and serve to celebrate the Institute’s 200th anniversary. We still tell the full story of medicine’s well-intentioned, but sometimes erroneous attempts at finding ways to alleviate suffering. The patients themselves tell part of the poignant story, as recorded voices recreate some of the letters found in the Institute of Living’s archives. An entirely reconstructed patient bedroom from the early 1900s invites viewers to place themselves in the shoes of those who sought care at the Institute of Living.

For the 200th anniversary we’ve added additional items from the archives, and completely updated the “Modern Therapies” section to reflect current thinking regarding mental illness. The capstone of a visit to Myths, Minds and Medicine is now an electronic, interactive brain shadow box with an interactive transparent touch screen that describes the workings of this once inscrutable organ. 

Location and Hours of Operation

Myths, Minds, and Medicine is located on the 2nd floor of the Schwartz Commons Building and is open to the public weekdays from 9 AM to 5 PM.

For More Information

Call: 860.545.7665 or 860.545.7324