Two hundred years after her birth, exhibition sheds light on nursing pioneer
A family album featuring unseen drawings of Florence Nightingale is to go on public display for the first time at a show hoping to shine new light on a figure whose name is world famous.
Nightingale, the lady with the lamp, the founding figure of modern nursing, was someone who “is known but not known”, said David Green, director of London’s Florence Nightingale Museum.
“Most people in the world have heard of Florence Nightingale, but they don’t really know her full story,” he said.
The 200th anniversary of her birth has prompted the museum to shine light on different aspects of her life in an exhibition of 200 objects.
They include a family album which was started by Nightingale’s aunt, Ann Elizabeth Nicholson, and passed down through family generations before becoming buried in papers.
It was unearthed last year and loaned to the museum. It includes drawings and watercolour sketches, including a small number of Nightingale.
Also on display for the first time is a gold watch, given to Nightingale by her father, which she wore throughout her service in the Crimean war. She gave it away because she was largely bed-ridden in later years. “I do not use a watch now, for I am not movable,” she said.