History & Archives

The First Program of its Kind…RCTeach

Today the graduates of the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine continue the Hopkins “tradition of excellence” into the 21st century. From molecular biology to surgery, 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 over 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).

The History of a Unique Art

BrodelAt Johns Hopkins, medical illustration began with the arrival, in 1894, of Max Brödel, a young German artist from Leipzig, Germany. He had illustrated for Carl Ludwig in the famous Institute of Physiology at the University of Leipzig. There Brödel met American scientists who were studying under Ludwig. Later, one of these, anatomist Franklin P. Mall, urged young Brödel to join him at the new Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

Circumstances altered plans and upon arrival in Baltimore Brödel was quickly employed by Howard A. Kelly, Chief of Gynecology, as his illustrator for a two-volume textbook, Operative Gynecology. Other books followed, some with co-authors, on subjects as diverse as the vermiform appendix and diseases of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Aside from texts, journal articles, and monographs, Kelly and Brödel united in their efforts to advance the state of surgery and health care in America, especially in diseases of women. When time permitted, Brödel illustrated for other Hopkins physicians and surgeons, expanding his knowledge of anatomy, pathology, and physiology.

In 1911, when Kelly retired as Chief of Gynecology, Brödel was left without consistent long-term illustration work. To keep this outstanding illustrator at Hopkins his close friend, Dr. Thomas Cullen, conceived of a department where Brödel could train students in the necessary knowledge and skills to become medical illustrators. Cullen’s search for funding ended when Henry Walters, a Baltimore financier, philanthropist, and art collector, agreed to support the venture. Eventually Walters provided an endowment which created the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine. It opened in 1911 with Max Brödel as its Director. Since that date there have been four other directors: James F. Didusch 1940-1943; Ranice W. Crosby 1943-1983; Gary P. Lees 1983-2013; and Corrine Sandone 2013 – Present.

Brodel_students2When the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) became a reality, the majority of charter members had graduated from the Hopkins program. Between 1941 and 1952, eight of nine similar programs in the United States and Canada were directed by Brödel-trained medical illustrators.

The need for increased communication in health sciences prompted additional training in photography, medical models, and exhibit production. This necessitated increasing the program to three years. Eventually, the significance and strength of the program advanced it to the graduate level. In 1959, the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine was approved by the University Graduate Board to offer the degree of Master of Arts in Medical and Biological Illustration. Entrance requirements were increased and a two-year curriculum was established. The Hopkins program was first accredited in October, 1970, with continued accreditation to date.

Medical illustration with all of its communication components and continually-evolving production technologies remains a vital discipline at JHMI. Faculty and students in this program are committed to continuing education in the medical sciences. We welcome the partnership with physicians, surgeons, and all other providers of medical and health care information to advance global medicine.

The Brödel Archives :: History that Teaches

Brodelart01During the 17 years that Max Brödel was illustrating for Dr. Howard A. Kelly (1894-1911), he became renowned for his art in the numerous books written by Kelly, some co-authored by other outstanding gynecologists. During this time, numerous monographs and articles which were illustrated by Brödel, also appeared in medical journals.

A prolific writer, Kelly, soon outpaced Brödel and turned to him to locate other artists to assist. In time, two of Brödel’s art school classmates from Leipzig, Herman Becker and August Horn, joined him.

Brodelart02Their work also appears in the following textbooks: Operative Gynecology (Vols. I&II), Kelly, Gynecology, Kelly, Medical Gynecology, Kelly, The Vermiform Appendix and Its Diseases, Kelly, and Elizabeth Herndon, Gynecology and Abdominal Surgery (Vols. I&II), Kelly and Charles Noble, Myomata of the Uterus, Kelly and Cullen, Diseases of the Kidneys, Ureters and Bladder (Vols. I&II), Kelly and Charles Burnham.

Dr. Thomas S. Cullen followed Dr. Kelly as Chief of Gynecology. Max Brödel continued illustrating his books: Adenomyoma of the Uterus and Embryology, Anatomy and Diseases of the Umbilicus.

Brodelart03Drawings for the textbooks written by Drs. Kelly and Cullen, alone or with co-authors, are filed according to their figure number in the book. Some are missing, but in general, are numerous and in good condition. From 1911 to Brödel’s retirement in 1940, each drawing was recorded numerically from 1 to 989. These are filed by number, with missing drawings recorded by their image copied from the medical journal.

The Brödel Archives also include works of the following medical illustrators, all trained by Max Brödel: Dorcas Hager Padget, (1906-1973), neurosurgical and embryological illustration; James F. Didusch, (1890-1955), embryological illustration; William P Didusch, (1895-1981), neurological illustration; Leon Schlossberg, (1912-1999), cardiology and general illustration. Limited examples of other well known medical illustrators such as Melford Diedrick and Willard Shepard, are also in the collection.
The Archives are available for study by students enrolled in the program of Medical and Biological Illustration.

Celebrating 100 Years…

Visit the Centennial pages to learn about our celebration of the first 100 years of Art as Applied to Medicine at Johns Hopkins.