The Jeremy Bentham Cabinet

University College, London

In his will of 1832, Jeremy Bentham directed his friend Dr Southwood Smith to take charge of his body and have his skeleton "put together in such a manner as that the whole figure may be seated in a chair usually occupied by me when living, in the attitude in which I am sitting when engaged in thought in the course of time employed in writing." The skeleton, padded out with straw and cloth and clad in his own clothes, with a wax head, was placed in a cabinet and later given to University College. [Commentary continues below. Mouse over the text for links.]

Photographs and text by Jacqueline Banerjee.

Reproduced by kind permission of UCL Art Collections, University College London.