Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Lecture: The Restoration of the Nuthshell Studies of Unexplained Death

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death are one of Baltimores many hidden treasures. These tiny crime scenes, created in the 1940s at a scale of 1:12, are studied by detectives and investigators from around the world who come to Baltimore for training on forensic and crime scene studies.
After an extensive restoration by the Smithsonian, the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death went on public display for the first time at the Renwick in DC. The response was overwhelming and the show was covered by media from around the world. They have now returned to their home in Baltimore, safe and sound at the Medical Examiner's office.
Two years ago, MedChi hosted Bruce Goldfarb for a lecture discussing the Nutshells and their importance to forensics and investigation. He returns on Wednesday, April 18 to share what the Smithsonian discovered during the restoration of the Nutshells and to further explain why these 70-year old dioramas are still relevant today.

Bruce Goldfarb is on the administrative staff at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Maryland, where the Nutshell Studies are housed. He worked extensively with the Smithsonian to restore the Nutshells and their subsequent exhibition at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC.

The lecture will take place at Osler Hall at MedChi on Wednesday, April 18th at 6:00 p.m. There is plenty of free and paid parking available in the area. 

Tickets to the lecture are $5.00 for members of MedChi and $8.00 for non-members. Funds raised will be used to preserve the Nutshells as well as MedChi's archives which date back to its founding in 1799. For information on reservations, which are required, please email us at events@medchi.org.

Sadly, the Nutshells will not be available to view at the event. They are now a permanent installation at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Maryland, and are not on public display. 






Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Bronzes at MedChi

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the bronze plaque of George Rohé (1851-1899).
I realized that we have about a half-dozen of these bronze plaques scattered around, mostly in the 1909 building. Most of the bronzes date from the time that the building was opened and then about 20 years beyond that. 

The two most important ones are probably those of Sir William Osler, MD.  One is a profile of Sir William with his trademark walrus mustache. This was commissioned in Paris by his close Baltimore friend, Dr. Henry Barton Jacobs, in honor of the dedication of the "new" building and the Hall named after Osler.
William Osler
 To whom as a testimonial of admiration and affection this Hall is Dedicated, May 13, 1909 

The other is a memorial to a good friend of the Faculty's.
William Osler, Physician, Scholar, Teacher, Friend.
Beloved member and benefactor of this Faculty.
His presence was a quickening impulse.
His memory is an enduring inspiration.

The Osler Library at McGill University in Montreal has a bronze that's nearly identical to the profile we have. 

Both of these bronzes hold pride of place on either side of the Thomas Corner portrait of Sir William at the front of Osler Hall. 

There is a large bronze in the stacks that is a tribute to Ridgely Brown Warfield. Sadly, because of its placement in the stacks, it's not seen as often as some of the other bronzes, but we added a framed giclée of it to the cabinets in the Krause Room. 
From our 100th anniversary book:
Warfield Ridgely Brown: Born in Howard County. Maryland on June 15 1864. He received his MD from the University of Maryland in 1884. He was an Assistant Resident Physician at University Hospital in 1884-85; Resident Physician at Bayview Asylum in 1885-86; Demonstrator of Anatomy, University of Maryland, 1892-93; Demonstrator of Anatomy, Baltimore Medical College, 1893-95; Associate Professor of Anatomy, Baltimore Medical College, 1895; Surgeon General of Maryland, 1897; and on the Surgical Staff of the Maryland General Hospital. Offices at 845 Park Avenue, Baltimore. 

As with many organizations and schools active during World War I, there is a memorial to those members of the Faculty who were lost during the war. 
Sadly, the men who are listed are only the ones from Baltimore County, and not the entire state. 

Isaac Ridgeway Trimble was a rising star in the medical field before he died from a blood infection contracted during a surgery. His friends commissioned this plaque after his death, and we also have a portrait of him in our collection.
There were also small bronze medals, struck with the same image, that were given to those who lectured at the annual memorial lecture in Trimble's name. You can read more about Dr. Trimble, his bronze and the lectures here

We have bronzes of two of the Big Four at Hopkins, with Osler, and this one of William H. Welch. Among his other accomplishments, Welch was president of MedChi in 1891-92, and was twice the Orator.
This bronze was sculpted by Victor David Brenner who is most well-known for his profile of Abraham Lincoln which is on the Lincoln penny. 

Finally - actually, there might be other bronzes that I haven't found yet - there is this bronze from the MedChi Women's Auxiliary, given on the occasion of the renovation of the 1909 building, the only one at the time of the gift.
We will be adding another bronze in the next few months to acknowledge School 49, one of Baltimore's most beloved public schools, and now one of MedChi's buildings.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Restored: The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death are one of Baltimores many hidden treasures. These tiny crime scenes, created in the 1940s at a scale of 1:12, are studied by detectives and investigators from around the world who come to Baltimore for training on forensic and crime scene studies.

After an extensive restoration by the Smithsonian, the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death went on public display for the first time. The response was overwhelming and the show was covered by media from around the world.

Two years ago, MedChi hosted Bruce Goldfarb for a lecture discussing the Nutshells and their importance to forensics and investigation. On Wednesday, April 18, Bruce returns to share what the Smithsonian discovered during the restoration of the Nutshells and to further explain why these 70-year old dioramas are still relevant today.

Bruce Goldfarb is on the administrative staff at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Maryland, where the Nutshell Studies are housed. He worked extensively with the Smithsonian to restore the Nutshells and their subsequent exhibition at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC.

Tickets to the lecture are $5.00 for members of MedChi and $8.00 for non-members. 
Please click here for tickets to the event. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. and should be finished by 8:00 p.m.

There is ample free and paid parking in the general area, and we are just a block from the Symphony Center stop on the Light Rail.

Funds raised will be used to preserve the Nutshells and also MedChi's archives which date back to its founding in 1799. For information on reservations, which are required, please email events@medchi.org

Monday, March 5, 2018

More About the Lecture Book

We received a very interesting email about the Lecture notebook from Earle Havens, who is the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Hopkins Sheridan Libraries and Museums. 

In the email, he writes:
This is quite interesting indeed! An interleaved and annotated book (so bound from the date of the spine illustration, which is clearly from the period of the book’s initial publication). It was specially bound for the purpose of annotation. The dated/located note in manuscript facing page 41 (“Philadelphia 1868”?) gives some internal evidence for dating the annotations. This is rare in any book, but a long tradition regardless, of recipes for “simples” (i.e., medicinal preparations and compounds) comprised here not only of naturalia (i.e., naturally occurring herbs, roots, ground resins, metals, etc.) but also of artificially formed chemicals, some perhaps commercially available (by the mid-19th c.) through industrial means.
As we have further examined the lecture book, it seems that the lectures are really just the outlines, and that the students filled out the details. It makes fascinating reading. Too bad it's not also illustrated with the wonderful old botanic engravings!