Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum
The Royal Pump Rooms
Warwickshire CV32 4AA
Fax: 044 01926 742705
The Art Gallery & Museum is based in the Royal Pump Rooms, which was a centre for spa treatments from 1814 until the 1990s. We have a collection of physiotherapy equipment which was used in the building, some of which is on display in our local history gallery. Visitors can also see our Victorian Hammam, which was recently restored to its 1860s appearance. Gallery open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Thursday from 1:30 p.m. through 8:00 p.m., Sunday from 11:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m., and closed Monday (except Bank Holidays). Admission is free. Other items from our collections are available for viewing by appointment.
The following list gives details of some of the medical equipment which was used at the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa and was transferred to the Museum in 1998.
Equipment from the Royal Pump Rooms: Treatment beds, Vichy Massage slab, Turkish bath lounger, Wheeled chair used to take people into the hydrotherapy pool, Cast iron bath, Sling suspension apparatus, Cervical traction harnesses, Lumbar traction harnesses, Bag and tongs for hot packs, Part of a physiotherapist's uniform, Pump Room towels, Infra-red lamps, UV lamps, Protective goggles, Medical cabinet. Short-wave therapy units, Microwave therapy unit, Inferential treatment unit, Progressive treatment unit, Food brace, Traction harnesses, Rack for use with zotofoam bath, Bottles of zotofoam extract, Bottle of surgical spirit, Bottle of paraffin liquid, Medal - distances of bathing places from London, Early X-ray apparatus used at Warneford Hospital - radiograph, Mineral water bottles, Leamington Board of Health medal, Tiles from Aylesford Well, Local Board of Health stamp 1852, Bath chair plate, Medal - Leamington Hospital senior cup (football). Other medical equipment: Dentists key (to extract teeth), Chemists glass tube, Gladstone bag, Macaura's Blood Circulator, Bone syringe, Magneto machine, X-ray apparatus, Scarifitor (for cupping/bleeding).
The Art Gallery & Museum has a large collection of photographs and prints of the Royal Pump Rooms dating from the 19th century right up to the present day. This includes views of the exterior of the building as well as social events in the Café and Assembly Rooms, swimming in the public pools and photographs of various specialized baths and treatments in the hydrotherapy pool and physiotherapy department.
The Museum collection includes a number of records and textbooks relating to spa water treatments and physiotherapy.
In 2000 the Art Gallery established a new policy of collecting works of art in which artists explore the treatment or experience of physical and mental illness particularly that associated with spas. This new collection unites the history of the building with our collections of social history and historic and contemporary art. It also reflects current debates in contemporary visual art concerning art and science.
The collection includes work in a range of media, schools and periods, from 18th century Dutch paintings, to Victorian portraits of local surgeons and single screen projections by major British artists.