BORN 2 Feb 1797, Gent - DIED 1 Apr 1860, Gent|
GRAVE LOCATION Gent: Campo Santo, Sint Amandsberg
Jozef Guislain was born into a family of architects. After his medical studies and his promotion at age 22 he started a distinguished career. In later years he specialized in mental illnesses. He suggested that mentally ill people should be kept at work as much as possible because an empty existence was a possible cause for mental illnesses.
In 1835 he became a professor at the University of Gent. Guislain had his own views on the architectural aspects of institutions for the mentally ill. In 1852 the building of an mental institution in Gent in line with his ideas was started. It was opened in 1857 and it is still in use, partly as an institution and partly as a museum. In 1858 he stopped his work as a teacher because of illness. He died in 1860 and after his death his institute was named after him. In 1887 a statue for him was unveiled at the Begijnhoflaan in Gent.