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:

October 24, 2016
General Drawing © Suzanne Slattery

A Close Look – General Drawing

The best place to start is the Sample Portfolio – http://medicalart.johnshopkins.edu/sample-portfolio/. The faculty describe General Drawing as “[demonstrating] a wide variety of technique and styles. The main aspects are the understanding of light on form and the skill of direct observation from nature. This may range from landscape studies to still life, animal or plant subjects, and hand or foot studies.” Notice that many pieces show attention to detail, display good draftsmanship, and are tightly rendered. The amaryllis root bulb and the peanuts falling from the paper bag in particular show close observation skills. There is also a distinct light source, showing good form and atmospheric perspective, a focus point of tighter rendering and a background that begins to fade away. Some examples may show a distinctive style but not at the cost of good form, proportions, and perspective. The landscape in particular has several distinctive marks yet conveys a believable depth and sense of space. Some examples may have been drawn quickly but most probably took some time to complete. A hand and/or foot study is encouraged. When building your portfolio with examples of the five portfolio categories, our Sample Portfolio page can help you determine how many from […]
October 19, 2016

Step One – Art Portfolio and Applicant Profile

The last post discussed the science prerequisites to the program and why they’re important. Now it’s time to begin looking at the Admissions process, the Art Portfolio and Applicant Profile, and what the faculty look for in sample artwork from each category. Step One – Art Portfolio and Applicant Profile The faculty invite you to share examples of your art from the five portfolio categories: General Drawing, Figure Drawing, Color Media, Graphic Design, and Digital Media. You’re allowed up to 20 pieces of art with up to 4 detail images. For a discussion on detail slides, take a look at this blog post. For a discussion on what to include and what to avoid, take a look at this blog post. We use a SlideRoom website to share the portfolio art with the faculty on our Admissions Committee. The website is user-friendly, and the excellent support staff at SlideRoom are very helpful with technical questions about their site, types and size of files, etc. Our program upload period runs from November 1st to January 15th. All portfolios should be submitted by January 15th to be considered by the faculty for matriculation in early August of the same year. The website […]
October 18, 2016
Cooking Up Bone Replacement. Illustration: Jennifer E. Fairman, CMI, FAMI. © JHU 2016

Hopkins Medicine Magazine – Illustrations of Jennifer Fairman

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Jennifer Fairman whose artwork is published in the Hopkins Medicine magazine article “Cooking Up Bone Replacement.” Highlighting the research of Associate Professor Dr. Warren Grayson and his team,  this article explores “…3-D printing, or so-called additive manufacturing, which creates 3-D objects from a digital/computer file by piling on successive, ultrathin layers of materials.” They hope to develop precisely engineered replacement bones for the head and face. Ms. Fairman’s illustrations show the materials and ‘recipe’ used in Dr. Grayson’s research to create these complex engineered replacement bones. The design for the illustrations was inspired by Cook’s Illustrated magazine.