Thursday, March 25, 2010

Portrait project: Old Library to get new labels

Boy, it seems like we've expanded into the realm of the art museum nearly overnight! I remember the day, long ago, when I received my first donation of art here at the archives: a lovely original editorial cartoon of the tram. (Apparently that was in December of 2006; good thing I started this blog to keep track of my first impressions.)

Back to today's events. The OHSU History of Medicine Society has graciously agreed to fund a small project to provide wall labels for the twenty portraits that hang in the Old Library rooms. While some of the portrait frames do bear the subject's name and (sometimes) dates, others lack any indication of who the person was and why they rate a big painting in one of the hottest party spots on campus. We'll be writing small blurbs to satisfy the curious; if easily obtainable from the items themselves, artists' names and dates of execution will also be added.

One of the portraits is thought to bear some (possibly) erroneous information. Shown here in an old black-and-white photo (no digital camera with me today) is the painting labeled on the frame as Ray Matson. How could that be controversial, you ask? Because Ray had a twin brother, Ralph. Both Ray and Ralph served with distinction in World War I as part of the U.S. Army. Ralph, however, had gone over to England and served with the British Expeditionary Force in France prior to the start of American involvement in the war. It has been suggested that the uniform shown here might represent the BEF and therefore the man depicted might be Ralph. While I'm waiting for my uniform histories to arrive via interlibrary loan, I don't suppose any of you kind readers can shed any light?

For those who have not yet visited the Old Library (or who have never taken full stock of the portrait gallery), the other notables shown are:

David W.E. Baird, M.D.
Lewis W. Bluemle, Jr, M.D. (1921- )
Leonard Laster, M.D. (1928- )
Harold Bunce Myers, M.D. (1886-1937)
Thomas Martin Joyce, M.D. (1885-1947)
Simeon Edward Josephi, M.D. (1849-1935)
James C. Hawthorne, M.D. (1819-1881)
R.E. Kleinsorge, M.D.
Charles N. Holman, M.D.
George Emanuel Burget, Ph.D., 1889-1938
Dr. Olof Larsell (1886-1964)
Leo Sherman Lucas, M.D. (1894-1961)
Elnora Elvira Thomson, R.N.
J. Guy Strohm, M.D. (1885-1972)
James Charles Elliott King, M.D. (1861-1948)
Richard Benjamin Dillehunt, M.D. (1886-1953)
Ray William Matson, M.D. (1880-1934)
John Elmer Weeks, M.D. (1853-1949)

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