These 14 prints represent a small sample of the Great Moments in Medicine and Great Moments in Pharmacy series that was produced by the Parke-Davis pharmaceutical company. The entire series consists of 85 paintings done by Robert Thom, who has been described as the ‘Norman Rockwell’ of medicine. Thom began work on the paintings in 1948, with the collaboration of Parke-Davis pharmacist George Bender. The paintings were meant to highlight the outstanding people and moments in medicine and pharmacy and to explain ‘what advances in medicine, throughout the centuries, meant to the better health and welfare of our modern civilization.’ (George Bender, 1951)
The prints were delivered to doctors, pharmacists and pharmacies beginning in 1951. Parke-Davis also released them as magazine advertisements, brochures, and as facsimiles that could be removed from magazines for framing.
The paintings and prints were produced to fit into the Parke-Davis corporate identity and to be used as advertising. They were meant to connect moments of medical and pharmaceutical innovation with the Parke-Davis name. Because of this motivation, Thom and Bender have been criticized for focusing only on single ‘great men’ while ignoring the complexity of medical innovation.
Jonathan M. Metzel, MD PhD and Joel D Howell, MD, PhD, “Making History: Lessons from the Great Moments Series of Pharmaceutical Advertisements,” Academic Medicine 79 (2004): 1027
An exhibition on computational approaches to analyzing Victorian novels
Artist: Carrie Roy
About: The Victorian Eyes Exhibition was on display at the University of Wisconsin, Memorial Library in March 2014. It also appeared at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery in October and early November 2013, and the Wisconsin Science Festival, September 26-29, 2013.
"Victorian Eyes” is a traveling art exhibition that examines nineteenth-century British literature from literary, statistical, and artistic vantages. With the modern deluge of media and information, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amounts of data available. With “Victorian Eyes,” we aim to inspire both specialists within our fields and nonspecialists to think about how the intersections of literature, statistics, and art can help us “see,” analyze, and explain large amounts of data.
While our fields may seem like an eclectic grouping, all deal in varying modes with perspective, which is the unifying theme this exhibition is designed to explore. One intriguing literary and statistical finding (based on word frequencies, words lengths, unique words, etc.) functions as the muse for each art piece in our exhibition.
A collaborative Research/Exhibition project with funding from the New Arts Venture Challenge. University of Wisconsin, Madison
Roll of the Topics: 5, 10, 20
Wood sculpture, black walnut, cherry, 26” x 15” x 13”
Dynamics of dice and numbers–one number sets new iterations in motion
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View the 5, 10, and 20 topic word clouds
His and Hers Inkwells: 1500
Brass, plastic 10” x 6” x 3”
Wells of inspiration, inspiring new applications for modern technology
View complete lists for male and female authors and works analyzed
The Great Unread
Wood sculpture, black walnut, 14.5” x 17.25” x 2.5”
Study in absence and fragility through black walnut wood
View additional images
Read the statistical interpretation and code
On Exhibit: November 2015 to November 2016
Location: Second Floor Exhibit Area by the south elevators
Health Sciences Library
The CU Anschutz Medical Campus is located on the former Fitzsimons Army Base, closed in 1999. Fitzsimons was opened in 1918, and was named in honor of Lt. Thomas Fitzsimons, of the Army Medical Corps, who was the first US officer killed in the First World War. The hospital was opened to care for returning soldiers who suffered from respiratory disease. The Base remained a key Army Medical Center until its closure and the iconic main hospital, known as Building 500, is still the center of the campus.
Visit the second floor to further explore the history of Fitzsimons and view artifacts from its Army Medical Corps past.
Read the blog post