100 Years of Disease, Illustrated (by Great Grandma)


More exciting evidence and details of our great grandmother's medical illustration career have come to light. As part of their efforts to plan the current exhibition celebrating the first hundred years of the Cleveland Clinic's Medical Art and Photography Department, the curators reached out to me to see if we had any of her original drawings from the years when she worked with George Crile, Sr., one of the clinic's co-founders. After he sent her off to Johns Hopkins to study under Max Bröedel, widely considered the father of modern medical illustration in the U.S., Dr. Crile used a bunch of her drawings to illustrate his 1914 book, Anoci-association. We don't have the originals of these, but Google has the full text and plates. Oh, how I love the internet. 

Our dad's cousin, Christine Lamson, brought her collection of great-grandma's originals to the art department at Johns Hopkins prior to their centennial celebration a few years ago. Based on their analysis of Armenouhie's early work, they estimate that she studied with Bröedel around 1908 or 1909, prior to the school's official start. Basically, she lived out Steven Soderberg's The Knick, but with pencils instead of scalpels.

If you're in the Cleveland area, the Medical Art & Photography Centennial Art Exhibit is up through Sept. 4, 2014 at the Cleveland Clinic Art Exhibition Area – between Q and G buildings. 












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