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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August 18, 2017

Medical Illustration in Print – Lydia Gregg on Dorcas Hager Padget

A new publication by department faculty member, Lydia Gregg, and Interventional Neuroradiologist, Dr. Philippe Gailloud, focuses on predictions made by the historic medical illustrator and neuroembryologist, Dorcas Hager Padget. Padget predicted that remnants of the primitive lateral basilovertebral anastomosis (PLBA), a transient channel that interconnects the embryonic branches of the vertebrobasilar system, could contribute to adult neurovascular anomalies. This study reviews the anatomy of the PLBA and describes four types of anatomic variants derived from partial persistence of the PLBA based on a clinical case series. The work introduces novel interpretations of rare variants of the intracranial arterial system. Publication available here: Lydia Gregg and Philippe Gailloud. “The role of the primitive lateral basilovertebral anastomosis of Padget in variations of the vertebrobasilar arterial system.” The Anatomical Record (2017). More Information on Dorcas Hager Padget. Kretzer, Ryan M., Ranice W. Crosby, David A. Rini, and Rafael J. Tamargo. “Dorcas Hager Padget: neuroembryologist and neurosurgical illustrator trained at Johns Hopkins.” Journal of neurosurgery 100, no. 4 (2004): 719-730.
June 22, 2017

Hopkins Dinner @ the 2017 AMI Meeting!

The faculty are pleased to host this year’s Hopkins Dinner for Alumni, Colleagues and Friends at the conclusion of the AMI Meeting, Wednesday, July 26th at 6:30pm at Austin’s The Clay Pit. A nationally-acclaimed contemporary Indian restaurant, The Clay Pit is a short 3 and a half blocks from the AT&T Conference Center. We’ll have the whole upstairs Bertram’s Hall to ourselves. Sign up: Please RSVP today to medart-info@jhmi.edu. Space is limited, so be certain to RSVP to ensure your seat. Alumna Kaitlin Lindsay (’12) will have flyers with a map to the event at the AMI Meeting. Thank you Kaitlin! Cost: Bring $30 cash to pay for your buffet (price includes the food, tax and tip!). There will also be a cash bar for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Menu: While final selections are still in the works, we’ll have 2 Appetizers, 2 Vegetarian Entrees, 2 Non-Vegetarian Entrees, and a Dessert (possibly the gorgeous Mango Cheesecake below). Getting there: No need for cab fares or rental cars, the restaurant is a short walk to 16th and Guadalupe. The Clay Pit 1601 Guadalupe St Austin, TX 78701 512-322-5131 https://www.claypit.com/ Cory, Gary (and Tina!), Tim, David, Jeni and Dacia will be there to […]
June 8, 2017

Sarah Chen and Li Yao Receive the 2016 Netter Awards

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 2016 winners of the Frank Netter Scholarship are Sarah Chen and Li Yao. Congratulations Sarah and Li! 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.  
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 […]