Beckett-Beaumont, 2006

Tartan “Beckett-Beaumont”

Registered, the Beckett- Beaumont is an official Tartan. Scottish Tartans originally served roughly as the markers of clans, families and districts. In Beckett’s tartan the spacing, colors and thickness of the lines are taken from digestive results of the experiments of William Beaumont “Father of Gastric Physiology” (1785-1853).

Whilst serving as a doctor in the U.S. army, Beaumont was offered a window into the workings of the living, when a certain Alexis St. Martin was shot in the abdomen, forming a hole that led directly into his stomach. Beaumont was able to lower pieces of food through the hole, into the gastric juices to monitor various digestive times

The colours of the lines in the tartan relate to the means of cooking, the thickness of the lines refer to the digestion times and the position in the tartan represents the foodstuff. The tartan reads in the same order as the table shown, a original observation of Beaumont’s.

The unfortunate Alexis St. Martin, who was allegedly reluctant to take part in the experiments. Mr. St. Martin would, in his later life, travel between family and laboratory in a lengthy commute from Canada to the United States. He was also said to have quite a drinking problem.

James Beckett, Beckett Beaumont
Copy of page 17 Experiments and Observations of the Gastric Juice and the Physiology of Digestion, William Beaumont, Edinburgh 1838,
James Beckett, Beckett Beaumont installation with ties
Limited edition neck-ties now available in Beckett- Beaumont. Proportions based on vintage digestion experiments. (installation view, T293, Naples)