In May 1912, St. Vincent’s Hospital moved from Clapham, London to what was then a rural Eastcote in Middlesex. It quickly gained a leading reputation as a children’s orthopaedic hospital welcoming patients from the poorest of backgrounds. Unfortunately, the hospital was forced to close in 2000. You can read more about the history of St. Vincent’s here.
It was a privilege to be asked by Jacquie Scott, the last Matron at St. Vincent’s Hospital, to restore the photographs for her exhibition The Hospital on the Hill which runs from 16 to 21 November 2015 at the Cow Byre Gallery, Manor Farm, Ruislip, Middlesex HA4 7SU.
All the images used in the exhibition were restored from paper prints of varying sizes and quality. An early decision centred upon how much restoration to apply. I felt it was dangerous to over-restore and some surface distressing was retained to provide a ‘patina’. High resolution scans were made of each image and then careful adjustments were made to reveal, in particular, shadow detail. This action, coupled with enlargement and controlled sharpening, revealed detail that was not previously visible. In some cases, it was then possible to correctly identify medical treatments. Some images needed considerable work to correct physical damage and defects such as lens flare in the original photograph. Others needed special treatment in view of the degree of enlargement required as some paper prints were only some 2 inches high and had to be enlarged to A3 size. A small selection will be found in the gallery below.
For those seeking more information, please see Jacquie Scott’s website and her recently published book, The Hospital on the Hill.
All images copyright Jacquie Scott (2015) and reproduced with permission.