Exhibit – Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection

18-381_NursingTravelingPoster_FNL(1)The College of Nursing and the Division of Information Technology and Libraries are pleased to present The National Library of Medicine’s traveling exhibition, “Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection.” This exhibit explores a unique archive of 2,588 postcards and over one hundred years of images of nurses and the nursing profession from around the world, investigating the hold these images exert on the public imagination—then and now.

The exhibition runs from February 12 through March 24. Stop by one of these locations to check it out: 

  • February 12-26: College of Nursing, 2nd floor, Criss II
  • February 26-March 9: Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library
  • March 12-25: Health Sciences Library

The postcard is a fleeting and widespread art form influenced by popular ideas about social and cultural life in addition to fashions in visual style. Nurses and nursing have been the frequent subjects of postcards for over one hundred years. In fact, no other art form has illustrated the nursing profession so profusely using such a variety of artistic styles and images. These images of nurses and nursing are informed by cultural values; ideas about women, men, and work; and attitudes toward class, race, and national differences. By documenting the relationship of nursing to significant forces in 20th-century life, such as war and disease, these postcards reveal how nursing was seen during those times.

The six-banner traveling exhibition highlights only a small selection from the 2,588 postcards of The Zwerdling Postcard Collection, but over 500 more are available to view in the exhibition’s online digital gallery.

For more information, view here.