“In selecting the cards, I wanted to communicate a history of nursing that placed it in the context of rapid changes in society and gave birth to modern professional nursing and the gendering of the profession,” says Hallam. “From sexualized pin-up images of the 1950s and 1960s to fierce patriots during wartime to angelic matriarchs of the Victorian era, the postcards portray a pantheon of nurses in popular culture through comics, paintings and photographs.”

Pictures of Nursing is on view at the National Library of Medicine through August 21, 2015, and the exhibit’s online gallery features 585 additional images to explore.

Source: Smithsonian magazine

Nurses, if you live nearby, would you go and check out this exhibit in person? And how do you feel about the ways that nurses are currently represented in mainstream culture? Give us your thoughts in the comments below!