Breathing isn’t just a bodily function. It allows us to speak, laugh and sing. It connects us to the outside world. It reflects our state of mind and can be consciously controlled. Breath has inspired art and literature. For many it has spiritual significance. The personal and cultural meaning of breathing goes beyond the simple act of keeping us alive.
Breathing also brings the outside world into our bodies, for good or ill, and the quest to diagnose and treat breathlessness has preoccupied doctors for millennia.
Drawing on art, philosophy, anthropology, literature and medical history, this temporary exhibition combines Life of Breath project research with objects from the Royal College of Physicians collections and beyond, to show that breathing is so much more than a bodily function.
Join this guided exhibition tour with expert insights from the project team.