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Archives - Setting the historical record straight

Fall 2011

Setting the historical record straight

Date: October 3, 2011

I am writing with regard to your cover article in the Spring/Summer issue, “Illustrators of the Century.” It is an incomplete portrayal of the history of the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine at Johns Hopkins. In this article, Max Broedel and many of the old and new illustrators are mentioned for their contributions to the science and art of medical illustration.


The one person not mentioned was Max Broedel’s actual protégé, Leon Schlossberg. Dr. Schlossberg is not mentioned in the article even though he was a professor in the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine, passing on Max Broedel’s teachings, as well as his own, for many of his 63 years at Hopkins.

If your team had done its research you would have found that Dr. Schlossberg was, in fact, Max Broedel’s student and the person who completed the Broedel American Frohse Anatomical Charts. You would have found his many contributions to Johns Hopkins University/Hospital and the international community of medicine at large. Dr. Schlossberg worked alongside some of the most famous surgeons, preserving for history operations such as the Blue Baby, among thousands of others. In 1961 the introduction of his functional human skeleton was Hopkins’ single most acclaimed achievement of the year.

I could footnote all of his achievements, one of which was the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters bestowed by Johns Hopkins University to Dr. Schlossberg in 1998 for all of his contributions. Some of these contributions can be found in the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine and in the Alan Chesney Medical Archives, as his entire body of work was donated by his family to the institution a few short years after his passing.

As a family member, my distress is probably understandable to your readers. But I am sure that there are many illustrators and doctors alike who were equally distressed at this gross oversight when they read this otherwise fine article portraying the history of medical illustration at Hopkins.

Linda Schlossberg Rothleder
Silver Spring, MD