Artwork and prints, primarily oversized, found in Country Doctor Museum items. Includes prints from "A History of Pharmacy in Pictures," "A History of Medicine in Pictures," "History of Anesthesia in Pictures," "Gay Philosopher" by Henry Major, "Pioneers of American Medicine" by Dean Cornwell, and other prints.
"Great Moments in Pharmacy" is a 40 oil painting series thought of by George A. Bender, a pharmacist, during the Great Depression. He was inspired by a series of illustrations depicting episodes in the history of surgery sponsored by Davis & Geck, and then another series of prints, "Search and Research", sponsored by Abbott Laboratories. Bender approached Abbott Laboratories about doing a similar series for pharmacy, but was turned down. Close to ten years later in 1947, Bender joined Parke-Davis as editor of its house organ, "Modern Pharmacy", and within a month began putting out feelers about his old idea, a history of pharmacy in pictures. In 1949, Bender wrote and submitted a seven-page proposal to Parke-Davis executives. In it, he provided estimated costs for 27 paintings and identified the advantages that such a project would provide to the sponsoring firm. His proposal was approved.
Bender was dissatisfied with the quality of work and the prices of many early contenders from various commercial art firms. One artist did interest him, and Bender gave him a trial assignment to produce the Christmas cover for "Modern Pharmacy". The artist was Robert A. Thom. Thom was selected as the artist for the series and began working on the 40 most important events in pharmacy's history. Bender rounded out his project team by seeking historical guidance from the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy in Madison, Wisconsin.
Some paintings would be done in four weeks, while others took four months to complete. All 40 paintings were exhibited together for the first time at the 1956 American Pharmaceutical Association Annual Meeting in Detroit. Pharmacists and the public requested the pharmacy series so Parke-Davis made them available in three media: gatefold inserts in "Modern Pharmacy", art prints suitable for framing, and window displays for enhancement of the professional décor of pharmacies.
In 1953, Parke-Davis Vice President Carl Johnson suggested that a similar series should be developed for the history of medicine. Four years later, "A History of Medicine in Pictures" began publication in the January 1957 issue of the Parke-Davis journal "Therapeutic Notes". Prints of both series were published in book form in 1966 by Northwood Institute Press.
The "Gay Philosopher" was originally done by Henry Major from 1945 to 1953 for Brown and Bigelow Advertising. During this time, Major painted about ten Gay Philosopher paintings. The series was used on a wide range of items: poster calendar, direct mail blotters, greeting cards, postcards, playing cards, glassware, and metal and chalkware busts.
After Major's death in 1953, Clair V. Fry who was the art director at Brown and Bigelow Advertising in New York City, was tasked with carrying on the character for advertising purposes. Fry continued to paint "The Philosopher" until 1973. Out of respect for Major, Fry never signed any images that he painted of this character, allowing collectors to quickly identify the artist.
"Pioneers of American Medicine" was commissioned in 1939 by the Wyeth Laboratories. Dean Cornwell produced six paintings for the series. He produced just one painting a year due to his need for extensive research. Wyeth first turned the paintings into posters and magazine ads, and then published them as a small booklet in 1945. The six paintings depict: Ephraim McDowell performing abdominal surgery; William Proctor establishing American pharmacy; Oliver Wendell Holmes combating puerperal fever; army doctors Walter Reed, Jesse Lazear, and James Carroll fighting yellow fever; army surgeon William Beaumont with his famous patient, Alexis St. Martin, making discoveries in digestive physiology; and William Osler teaching at Old Blockley.
The "History of Anesthesia, 1842 – 1898" is a collection of four wall art medical photos. Each picture illustrates health professionals and their use of anesthesia. The creator and date of creation is unknown. Each of these works is part of the series, "Giant Steps in the History of Anesthesia." "Dr. August Brier – August 16, 1898" depicts his performance of the first spinal anesthetic on a surgical patient. The artwork "William Morton – Boston, Massachusetts – 1846" illustrates Morton's first use of ether-induced surgical anesthesia in a hospital setting. "Dr. Crawford W. Long – Jefferson, Georgia – 1842" demonstrates his use of ether inhalation as a form of anesthesia. "Queen Victoria – April 7, 1853" shows the Queen being administered chloroform as an anesthetic during the birth of her eighth and youngest son, Prince Leopold.
Artwork and prints, primarily oversized, found in Country Doctor Museum items. Includes prints from "A History of Pharmacy in Pictures," "A History of Medicine in Pictures," "History of Anesthesia in Pictures," "Gay Philosopher" by Henry Major, "Pioneers of American Medicine" by Dean Cornwell, and other prints. The collection has 21 of 40 "History of Pharmacy" prints; 5 of 45 "History of Medicine" prints; and 3 of 6 "Pioneers of American Medicine" prints.
Donor information unknown.
2019 August 10: 4 "History of Anesthesia in Pictures" prints, 1 journal issue. Gift of Brenda McKean.
Donor information unknown.
Gift of Brenda McKean.
Processing revised by Ashley Williams, 2015. Updated by Layne Carpenter, 2017. Updated by Kaleah Braswell, 2019.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.