Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hair, There and Everywhere

As I show people our art collection, I am always fascinated by the changing hair styles, both facial and otherwise. There are some serious chops in our collection and one of the visiting curators told me that you can date paintings pretty closely by looking at the hair… and the cravat!

Here are some of the extreme examples.

Abraham Arnold, M.D. (who looks down at me every day!)Arnold Abram

John Blake, M.D.

J. Brown Baxley, M.D.

Thomas Hepburn Buckler, M.D.

Samuel Stringer Coale, M.D. (I just want to say, Bless his heart!)Coale 5-10 025

Alexander Franklin Dulin, M.D.Dulin

Daniel Coit Gilmangilman 5-10 031

Horatio Gates Jamison, M.D.

Nathan Ryno Smith, M.D. (It’s the eyebrows)

William Stokes, M.D.STOKES

Philip Thomas (To be fair, this wasn’t painted from life)Thomas Philip

Henry Parke Custus WilsonWilson

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our tonsorial travels through time!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What I Found Today, I

Each and every time I go up into the stacks, I find something new. Today, as I was up looking for some additional books to put in the Krause Room, I had one discovery that was a bit creepy! 

I am in and out of the stacks all of the time, and know pretty much what is where. When I was looking for some books today, I came across this:IMG_5336It’s a huge frame… nothing that I would have missed in passing. Just sitting there, leaning against the shelves. Now, the trick is to match the painting with the frame. Although there’s a little ID sticker on the bottom, it doesn’t correlate with anything.

A few months ago, I found this painting. Same as the frame, just propped up against the wall. This is John H. Patterson, M.D. (1817-1893).IMG_5360

As you can see by the light spot on the bottom of the frame, someone removed all of the identifying information from many of our portraits. It’s been a long and frustrating process to make sure everything is, once again, correctly identified.

Here’s what else I found:IMG_5339It is Paulo Mascagni’s Vasorum lymphaticorum corporis humani historia et iconographia (Lymph vessels of the human body's history and iconography), published in 1787. This is one of the earliest books on the lymphatic system and made Mascagni famous throughout Europe. IMG_5341

The book is fascinating in its handmade, deckle-edged paper and obvious letter-press typesetting. As you run your fingers across the letters, you can feel the history in the pages.IMG_5344Most regrettably, it’s in very poor condition, and although rare, does not have much value remaining.

One of the things I’ve realized is that the worse the condition is, the more lavish and beautiful the illustrations are! This book was presented to us by Thomas Buckler, M.D.IMG_5348This lovely book on the Traits of Syphilis, has the most beautiful script, IMG_5350

and beautifully rendered illustrations. IMG_5352This was one of the tamer illustrations.

There’s always something interesting to find in the stacks, and I wonder if Marcia is playing tricks and leaving things for me to find!