‘Adorn the Halls,’ Jefferson Art History Book, Just Published
“ADORN THE HALLS: History of the Art Collection at Thomas Jefferson,” written by Julie S. Berkowitz, University Art Historian, and edited by Malcolm Clendenin, Editor of the Jefferson Alumni Bulletin, has just been published.
The richly illustrated medical/art book describes the origins and development of the Jefferson art collection, which goes far beyond paintings and sculptures. The handsome volume of 725 pages contains black and white photographs of 429 art works (several showing closeup details) and full-color photographs of 28 objects.
Following an overview of the collection, 10 chapters trace Jefferson’s chronological history through its portraits and other art works. Two chapters are devoted to Thomas Eakins’ “The Gross Clinic” painting, featured on the dust jacket, and to Eakins as a scientist and his relationship with Jefferson Medical College. Two final chapters treat nonmedical art objects such as landscapes and European medicine and its practitioners.
“Doing this project was both a joy and challenge,” says Ms. Berkowitz.
“I purposely expanded Jefferson’s notion of ‘art’ beyond paintings and sculptures to include architecture, antique decorative arts and medals, and art works on paper, especially prints, drawings, vintage photographs and rare medical books,” she explains.
“When I came to Jefferson as a trained art historian, I found very little information about the collection, so my research ranged from the most basic to esoteric detective work, and actually made the organizing and writing comparatively routine. Though I never dreamed the book would take so long to accomplish, it was a wonderful professional and personal experience.”
“ADORN THE HALLS” makes a perfect gift for any Jeffersonian. To find out how to order a copy, phone the Jefferson Bookstore at 215-955-7922.