Welcome to the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine

Visualizing Science & Medicine

The Department of Art as Applied to Medicine is a leader in the field of visual communication for science and health care. Built on a strong foundation of scientific knowledge, artistic technique, and clear visual communication, the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine has maintained the highest standards while embracing new medical, scientific, and communication technologies.

Today, Art as Applied to Medicine educates future medical illustrators through a two-year, accredited, Master of Arts program in Medical and Biological Illustration. Concurrently, our faculty produces illustrations, animations, and graphic design for the medical, research and publishing communities. An anaplastology clinic within the Department also creates facial and somatic prosthetics for patients and offers a one-year training program in clinical anaplastology.

About Our Graduate Program

The Department of Art as Applied to Medicine was endowed in 1911 and has been teaching medical illustration continuously. In 1959, the Johns Hopkins University approved a two-year graduate program leading to the University-wide degree of Master of Arts in Medical and Biological Illustration.

The program is conducted by the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine on the East Baltimore Campus of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (JHMI). The academic calendar, faculty and student affairs are administered by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The Department has trained medical illustrators for 100 years. The program has been granted full accreditation since 1970. It is currently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in cooperation with the Accreditation Review Committee for the Medical Illustrator (ARC-MI). Today, its graduates continue the Hopkins "tradition of excellence" into the 21st century.

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News & Announcements:

May 25, 2017

Julia Lerner Receives the 2017 Burgess Award

This award provides financial aid to students in the graduate program of medical and biological illustration. The 2017 winner of the Annettee Burgess Award is Julia Lerner. Congratulations, Julia! The foremost painter of the ocular fundus, Annette S. Burgess was a world-renowned ophthalmic artist. Accuracy of observation and meticulous attention to detail are hallmarks of Ms. Burgess’ ophthalmological illustrations. The Annette S. Burgess Award recognizes the outstanding quality of scientific and artistic scholarship in Ophthalmological Illustration and is awarded in honor of Annette S. Burgess, the first medical illustrator for the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute.
May 25, 2017

Lauren Rakes Receives the 2017 Netter Award

This award, given by the family and friends of Dr. Netter, provides financial aid to students in the graduate program of medical and biological illustration. The 2017 winner of the Frank Netter Scholarship is Lauren Rakes. Congratulations, Lauren! The Scholarship Fund recognizes Frank F. Netter’s legacy to medical art; his insistence on thoroughly understanding the subject matter and his high artistic standards. For many decades Frank Netter’s name has been synonymous with medical illustration. Doctors, medical students, health-care providers, and curious patients have looked through copies of the CIBA Clinical Symposia for Netter’s illustrations providing sought-after information. Later, numerous bound volumes, the CIBA Collection of Medical Illustrations, offered Netter’s works depicting both the anatomy and pathology of systems and organs. New advances in medicine and technology challenge current illustrators to continue to explore innovative ways to communicate the medical sciences. Frank Netter lives on as an educator in the medical sciences and an inspiration to students developing the skills of medical illustrator.
May 25, 2017

Daniel Hermansen Receives the 2016-2017 Reather Award

The Department of Art as Applied to Medicine awards The Chester Reather Scholarship to a graduate student whose advanced work or thesis stimulates innovative research and creative use of new imaging modality. Daniel Hermansen is the 2017 winner of the Reather Scholarship. Congratulations, Dan! This award honors Chester Reather, an internationally renowned biomedical photographer, who was a part of Hopkins for over 40 years. His work appeared in many textbooks authored by Hopkins physicians. Early in his photographic career, he worked in the Carnegie Institute Department of Embryology (at Hopkins) where his magnified scientific images became a standard for biological photographers around the world. As a founding member of the Biological Photographers Association (BPA), he trained many who later became distinguished members. Reather award winners receive scholarship funds to support their graduate education.
April 4, 2017

Thesis Presentations 2017 – April 14th, 3:00-5:00 PM

We are pleased to announce the 2017 Thesis Presentations will be held Friday, April 14th at 3:00 PM in the Chevy Chase Auditorium on the main level of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Zayed Tower. This is an opportunity for our faculty and guests to view research in the art of communicating medical and biological science. We invite you to attend and welcome your input on the content and clarity of the scientific research and the educational and teaching value of the images presented. Convenient garage parking is available for a modest fee in the Orleans Street Garage with elevated bridge access to the Zayed Tower of the Hospital.                                             
December 20, 2016

A Close Look – Color Media

Great places to start learning about our Portfolio Categories are the Sample Portfolio page – http://medicalart.johnshopkins.edu/sample-portfolio/ and the Admissions page – http://medicalart.johnshopkins.edu/admissions-2/. Let’s take a look at the Color Media category. In the Color Media Category, the faculty are looking for “an accomplished use of transparent watercolor, opaque paint media, and colored pencil. Landscape and still-life subject matter rendered in a representational manner should demonstrate accurately matched colors creating form and depth. The main aspects are the understanding of light on form and the skill of direct observation from nature.” Notice in the Color section of the Sample Portfolio a variety of media and distinctive personal styles are shown, yet all examples also accomplish the goal of the category – accurately matched colors creating form and depth. Most are still life and landscape, but we occasionally also see wonderful portraits, animal studies, and figures rendered in color. In addition to good proportions and accurate perspective, these pieces have cast shadows and reflected color adding to the illusion of three dimensional objects depicted on a flat surface. All also were created while directly observing the subjects/objects depicted avoiding photo reference. While the faculty like to see watercolor, opaque paint (oil or acrylic) […]
November 2, 2016

A Close Look – Figure Drawing

The best places to start for learning about our Portfolio Categories is the Sample Portfolio page – http://medicalart.johnshopkins.edu/sample-portfolio/ and the Admissions page – http://medicalart.johnshopkins.edu/admissions-2/. Let’s take a look at the Figure Drawing category. We consider Figure Drawing to be the advanced study of the human figure drawn from direct observation of the model. Examples should include both long and short poses and may be rendered in a variety of media. We ask for a minimum of 5 Figure Drawings, a majority of which should be long poses but please include a couple of short pose drawings as well (see below). Your Figure Drawings should include the full figure, head to toe. Portraits and hand and foot studies are considered General Drawing. Short Poses Short poses are demonstrations of quick gestural sketches from direct observation ranging from 1 minute to 30 minutes in length. These drawings are intended to capture the essence of the figure’s mass, gesture, weight bearing and balance Take a look at these short poses. Both capture the full figure. In the first, with only a few seconds, the artist captured good proportions and perspective. The cast shadow adds depth and weight to the quickly outlined figure. In […]