The H. F. Aitken collection of biomedical art comprises some 2000+ sketches, drawings, paintings, prints and books from the estate of Hamlet Frederick Aitken (1872-1939), an artist and medical illustrator from Boston, Massachusetts. The Aitken collection reveals the professional emergence of biomedical illustration just as surgery and medicine were put on a new scientific basis around 1900 in medical centers such as Baltimore, Boston and Cleveland.
During his career, Aitken worked with leading figures of American surgery and anatomy, including Harvey Cushing, Frank H. Lahey, and John Collins Warren, II, as well as the leading medical illustrator Max Brödel at Johns Hopkins University. Through Aitken’s work we are able to witness the career of a medical artist in unique detail, and to better understand the emergence of American medical illustration in this pivotal period.
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