The exhibition accompanies Mike’s book Mescaline: a global history of the first psychedelic
100 years after mescaline was first synthesised in 1919, Brilliant Visions explores the pioneering era of psychedelic research. It features the experiments conducted in 1936 by two psychiatrists at the Mausdley Hospital, Eric Guttman and Walter Maclay, who administered mescaline to a group of British Surrealist artists and asked them to draw and paint their hallucinations.
(Main image: Mescaline drawing with snake by Basil Beaumont )
Mike was co-curator, with Bárbara Rodriguez Muñoz, of Wellcome Collection’s Bedlam: the asylum and beyond (Sept 2016 – Jan 2017).
He is the author of the accompanying book, This Way Madness Lies, published by Thames & Hudson.
Features, reviews, image galleries and film in the Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Sun, Economist, New York Times, London Review of Books, Science, Lancet, British Medical Journal, Lancet Psychiatry, Contemporary Psychotherapy, Architectural Review, Sydney Morning Herald, Quartz, Apollo, Hyperallergic, Londonist, Culture Whisper, Frieze, The Quack Doctor and Culture24.
As a trustee of the Bethlem Art and History Collections Trust, Mike has been involved in developing and designing the Museum of the Mind at the Royal Bethlem Hospital in Beckenham. The new museum draws on Bethlem’s unique collection of documents, objects and art by patients including Richard Dadd, Louis Wain and Jonathan Martin. The building also houses the Bethlem gallery of contemporary art, and the archives of the hospital’s 700-year history. Coverage from The Guardian, ArtInfo, The Londonist and BBC TV, and a film of the opening featuring Grayson Perry.
Shortlisted for Museum of the Year 2016
Mike is the author of Mindcraft, a digital essay-cum-gallery produced by Wellcome Collection, exploring early scientific investigations into the unconscious from Mesmer’s salons to Freud’s couch.
Mike was the external curator on the Wellcome Collection’s High Society exhibition (Nov 2010-Feb 2011), and wrote the accompanying book. Coverage from BBC TV news, Independent, Financial Times, Guardian, Lancet, Bloomberg News and Wall Street Journal.