Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Margaret Pitcairn-Knowles, bookcase and table

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Hastings (photographed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1920 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Pitcairn-Knowles, Andrew, born 1871 - died 1956 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatine-silver print

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased through the Cecil Beaton Royalties Fund

  • Museum number:

    E.3495-2004

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 980, box D

Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles (born Rotterdam 1871, died Hastings 1956) was a pioneering photographic journalist who published his work in the new illustrated magazines of the late 19th and early 20th century. From the turn of the century he travelled around Europe, living in Berlin, Brussels, Paris and Jersey. With his eye for detail, timing and geometry, he accurately captured the leisure activities, sports and customs of the period. Besides their documentary value, his photographs have a quirky and almost surreal quality.
‘Riposo’ (Italian for ‘rest’ or ‘repose’) was a Health Hydro & Dietetic Sanatorium in St. Helen’s Park, Hastings, Sussex. It was founded by Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles in 1913, as one of the first health resorts in the United Kingdom which employed Nature Cure. Nature Cure, or ‘Naturopathy’ as it s sometimes called, is a particular approach in itself but is also the basis of most alternative therapies. One of the fundamental principles of the cure is that illness results from the accumulation of toxins or waste in the body, as a result of an unnatural way of living. Pitcairn-Knowles promoted a variety of treatments: Hydropathy (water and steam applications), Heliotheraphy (sun, air and light treatment), Dietetics, Physical Culture (exercises, manual therapy and massage), the Guelpa Cure and the Schroth Cure. In Riposo many diseases were treated (among others obesity, mental depression, hysteria, insomnia, liver and kidney troubles, rheumatism and skin diseases) but was also open to healthy people.
Of all the cures Pitcairn-Knowles seems to have been most interested in the ‘Schroth Cure.’ It was invented by Johann Schroth around 1718. He prescribed patients to sleep in wet sheets ( called ‘wet packs’) and follow a ‘dry diet’. This diet consisted of four meals a week (only rice, sago, porridge or potatoes) and stale bread in addition. Because Schroth believed copious drinking would weaken the patients, the only fluid they were allowed to drink was wine, on four days a week. This helped them to overcome the weariness that the ‘dry diet’ caused.
Photography was an important tool for Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles during the time he ran ‘Riposo’. He documented treatments, produced educational material and traced the history and methods of the ‘Schroth’ Cure. During a visit to Schroth’s hometown Lindewiese in Austria (now Czech Republic), Pitcairn-Knowles asked villagers to demonstrate the experiments with ‘wet packs’ that Schroth had applied to animals. Pitcairn-Knowles added photographs such as these to his ‘pictorial description of the great healer’s methods.’ Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles, and later his son Gordon Pitcairn-Knowles, used lantern slides to illustrate their lectures on cures. Some photo’s may also have been displayed at an exhibition at Riposo, to inform visitors about the cures employed at the estabablishment. ‘Riposo’ closed in 1962.

Physical description

This photograph shows a woman sitting in a chair and is knitting. She looks into the camera. Behind her there's a bookcase, next to her a table.

Place of Origin

Hastings (photographed)

Date

ca. 1920 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Pitcairn-Knowles, Andrew, born 1871 - died 1956 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatine-silver print

Marks and inscriptions

'017/9'
Donor's reference, verso, pencil.

'M.P.K./Bookcase and table'
Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles' writing, verso, pen.

'Ricard P.K.'s writing'
Richard Pitcairn-Knowles' writing, verso, pencil (probably).

Dimensions

Height: 9.8 cm, Width: 12.3 cm

Object history note

Pitcairn-Knowles Archive purchased from Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles' grandson Richard Pitcairn-Knowles.

Historical context note

Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles (born Rotterdam 1871, died Hastings 1956) was a pioneering photographic journalist who published his work in the new illustrated magazines of the late 19th and early 20th century. From the turn of the century he travelled around Europe, living in Berlin, Brussels, Paris and Jersey. With his eye for detail, timing and geometry, he accurately captured the leisure activities, sports and customs of the period. Besides their documentary value, his photographs have a quirky and almost surreal quality.
‘Riposo’ (Italian for ‘rest’ or ‘repose’) was a Health Hydro & Dietetic Sanatorium in St. Helen’s Park, Hastings, Sussex. It was founded by Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles in 1913, as one of the first health resorts in the United Kingdom which employed Nature Cure. Nature Cure, or ‘Naturopathy’ as it s sometimes called, is a particular approach in itself but is also the basis of most alternative therapies. One of the fundamental principles of the cure is that illness results from the accumulation of toxins or waste in the body, as a result of an unnatural way of living. Pitcairn-Knowles promoted a variety of treatments: Hydropathy (water and steam applications), Heliotheraphy (sun, air and light treatment), Dietetics, Physical Culture (exercises, manual therapy and massage), the Guelpa Cure and the Schroth Cure. In Riposo many diseases were treated (among others obesity, mental depression, hysteria, insomnia, liver and kidney troubles, rheumatism and skin diseases) but was also open to healthy people.
Of all the cures Pitcairn-Knowles seems to have been most interested in the ‘Schroth Cure.’ It was invented by Johann Schroth around 1718. He prescribed patients to sleep in wet sheets ( called ‘wet packs’) and follow a ‘dry diet’. This diet consisted of four meals a week (only rice, sago, porridge or potatoes) and stale bread in addition. Because Schroth believed copious drinking would weaken the patients, the only fluid they were allowed to drink was wine, on four days a week. This helped them to overcome the weariness that the ‘dry diet’ caused.
Photography was an important tool for Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles during the time he ran ‘Riposo’. He documented treatments, produced educational material and traced the history and methods of the ‘Schroth’ Cure. During a visit to Schroth’s hometown Lindewiese in Austria (now Czech Republic), Pitcairn-Knowles asked villagers to demonstrate the experiments with ‘wet packs’ that Schroth had applied to animals. Pitcairn-Knowles added photographs such as these to his ‘pictorial description of the great healer’s methods.’ Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles, and later his son Gordon Pitcairn-Knowles, used lantern slides to illustrate their lectures on cures. Some photo’s may also have been displayed at an exhibition at Riposo, to inform visitors about the cures employed at the estabablishment. ‘Riposo’ closed in 1962.

Descriptive line

'Margaret Pitcairn-Knowles, bookcase and table', photograph by Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles, Hastings, ca. 1920.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Pitcairn-Knowles, Richard. The Edwardian eye of Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles 1871-1056. Sussex: The Book Guild Ltd, 2000.

Production Note

N.B. Health Hydro & Dietetic Sanatorium, St. Helen's Park, Hastings, Sussex, United Kingdom.

Subjects depicted

Interior; Family; Rooms

Categories

Photographs; Entertainment & Leisure; Portraits

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.