“All around us we see signs of this confusion. Americans are often called a “materialistic” people and we certainly are surrounded by material possessions and revel in them. But at the same time, the “real world” of physical location seems to be evaporating before our eyes.”
The Vietnam War had been shredding bodies and hopes for so long that it hardly seemed possible that a single image of human conflict could pierce through the war’s futility and touch our hearts. And then photographer Nick Ut captured “The Girl in the Picture” on film. He aimed his Leica M-2 camera and with one quick “click,” Phan Thi Kim Phuc, became a symbol of the horror of the Vietnam War and by extension all wars.
Designed for short-term use to promote public health or sell the latest “miracle” drug, medical posters have often been ignored. Traditionally, these posters have ranked well below the “stars” of Ars Medica collections, such as books of hand-tinted herbal remedies or anatomical drawings from the 16th century. But each of the prints in Health for Sale tells an amazing story, often confounding the expectations of the viewer.