Dittrick 1993.42.2 obverse
Dittrick 1993.42.2 reverse
Dittrick 1993.42.2 obverse
For the coming holiday season I thought that something kid-oriented should be in order. One of the more charming items in the Dittrick archive is a c.1950 boxed set of Rust Craft greeting cards for hospital-bound children. We are normally inclined to think only of get-well cards sent to the infirm and ill. The cards depicted here turned the table, and were intended to let young hospital patients keep others apprised of their well-being, and hopefully improving health. Such cards provided family and friends with an update on their recuperation.
All this struck me as pretty remarkable, yet a tad surreal. What poor kid could/would provide family and friends with a meaningful report on their recuperation? And was this something “normal” in the sphere of greeting cards? The search to learn something about these cards resulted in a phone chat with Anne Stewart O’Donnell, a decorative arts scholar steeped in greeting card history. Anne cited The Romance of Greeting Cards (1956) by Earnest Dudley Chase as a key source, but it offered little illumination regarding this genre of cards. A bit more looking online confirmed that the cards could be credited to Marjorie Cooper of Three Little Kittens fame, as well as a full oeuvre of artwork for Rust Craft Greeting Card Company and other publishers of children’s books in the baby boomer era. Should I learn more, I’ll pass it along. For the moment, I will post these images and hope that you enjoy the charm of Cooper’s artwork.
Anatomica Aesthetica showcases more than a decade of work by contemporary fine-art photographers from the Mütter Museum and the H. F. Aitken biomedical llustrations from the Dittrick Medical History Center. The exhibition includes images from the Mütter Museum’s renowned historical photography collection alongside contemporary images that extend the boundaries of traditional photographic subject matter. Guest curator Laura Lindgren brought together aesthetically diverse photographers including Shelby Lee Adams, Max Aguilera-Hellweg, Gwen Akin and Allan Ludwig, Candace diCarlo, Dale Gunnoe, Steven Katzman, Mark Kessell, Scott Lindgren, Olivia Parker, Rosamond Purcell, Richard Ross, Ariel Ruizi Altaba, Harvey Stein, Arne Svenson, William Wegman, and Joel-Peter Witkin. The H. F. Aitken collection comprises some 2000+ sketches, drawings, paintings, prints, and books from the estate of Hamlet Frederick Aitken (1872 - 1939), an artist and medical illustrator from Massachusetts. Maggie Pierce, a senior in the CIA biomedical art program, selected fifty works from the Aitken collection to be featured in this installation.
The exhibition runs from November 5 to December 18, 2010.
Related events include: