A nondescript hallway between Kresge Auditorium and the Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions has been transformed into a portrait gallery of nine past deans of the College of Medicine.
The portraits have been in storage since 2004 when they were taken down in preparation for the construction of the CARE/Crawley Building and the Medical Sciences Building (MSB) rehabilitation project. While work continues elsewhere in the MSB, the short hallway off the E-Level main corridor was finished and ready for adornment.
"These paintings are beautiful works of art and deserve to be showcased in the College of Medicine for everyone to enjoy,” said Dean Thomas Boat, MD. "I hope that everyone who sees these portraits will recognize our wonderful history of almost two centuries and be inspired by the great contributions by these past leaders to the college, Cincinnati and medicine.”
The area where the portraits hang is expected to be further developed to highlight the history of the College of Medicine and Academic Health Center. Anchored by the Winkler Center, planning is under way for additional historic exhibits and funds are currently being raised for a display honoring Daniel Drake and the 63 recipients of the Drake Medal, the college’s highest academic honor. Drake was the founder in 1819 of the Ohio Medical College, which became part of the University of Cincinnati in 1896. Along the way it merged with Cincinnati Medical College in 1846 and twice combined with Miami Medical College, in 1857 and 1909.
Portraits were hung Jan. 25 and depict:
Daniel Drake, MD, dean from 1819 until 1822.
Cornelius Comegys, MD, 1864
William Seely, MD, 1881 to 1900
Phineas Conner, MD, 1900 to 1905
Frederick Forchheimer, MD, 1905 to 1909
Stanley Dorst, MD, 1939 to 1962
Clifford Grulee, MD, 1963 to 1973
Robert Daniels, MD, 1973 to 1986
John Hutton, MD, 1987 to 2002
Eight of the nine portraits are original oil paintings. Drake’s portrait is actually a photographic reproduction of a portrait painted in the 1890s. It is not known where the original Drake painting is today, although it was never in the university’s collections.
Some of the portraits are done by internationally renowned artists including William Pape (Comegys), William Jacob Baer (Seely), Caroline Lord (Conner) and Joseph DeCamp (Forchheimer). Plaques are currently being created to be added next to each artwork providing information about the dean and artist along with other information.
The portraits previously hung in the Kresge Lobby. The paintings are part of the university’s fine art collection and were the only ones in the collection of former College of Medicine deans. The selection of the paintings was made by the UC office of planning, design and construction under the direction of university architect and associate vice president Beth McGrew.