Posts tagged: Abram Belskie

Staff Finds: Dickinson-Belskie

By , February 19, 2019
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Robert Latou Dickinson

While processing the Robert Latou Dickinson papers, Center staff came across photographs of Robert Latou Dicksinon and artist Abram Belskie in their studio at the New York Academy of Medicine.

After retirement from medical practice, Dickinson collaborated with Belskie at the New York Academy of Medicine to create molds and models of human reproductive anatomy for display and as teaching aids, some of which were exhibited at World’s Fair in 1939. These models were later featured in the teaching book Birth Atlas. The sculptures Norma and Normman were a product of their collaboration as well. In 1945, Dickinson transferred his reproductive anatomy model collection to the Cleveland Health Museum. In 2007 the Health Museum was absorbed into the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and at that time transferred the Dickinson-Belskie collection to the Warren Anatomical Museum.

Below are photographs of Dickinson and Belskie in studio with their teaching models, from the Dickinson papers. The photographs were originally produced for Look Magazine; the Library of Congress now holds the copyright for the images. (LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division)

The Dickinson-Belskie Collection in the Warren Anatomical Museum (object numbers 20500-20778) is available for research. Advance notice is required.

The finding aid for the Dickinson papers can be found here.

For information regarding access to these collections, please contact the Public Services staff.

Robert Latou Dickinson Papers Open to Research

By , June 27, 2016
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Robert Latou Dickinson

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the  Robert Latou Dickinson papers, 1881-1972 (inclusive), 1926-1951 (bulk). Dickinson (1861-1950, MD, 1882, Long Island College Hospital) was a gynecologist and obstetrician, sex researcher, anatomist, author, and artist. Dickinson worked with Margaret Sanger in promoting contraception and was also known for his medical illustrations and work with Abram Belskie developing anatomical models, in particular Norma and Normman.

The papers are the product of Dickinson’s activities as a sex researcher, obstetrician and gynecologist, author, and artist. The papers include: Dickinson’s professional and personal correspondence; case histories and subject files related to his research interests; writings for both books and articles, including records related to his unpublished book Doctor as Marriage Counselor; biographical records including diaries, obituaries and related correspondence, photographs, and an unpublished biography written by Dickinson’s son-in-law, George Barbour; and Dickinson’s medical and non-medical artwork.

The finding aid for the Dickinson papers can be found here.

For information regarding access to this collection, please contact the Public Services staff.

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Robert Latou Dickinson

Warren Museum Collections Assistant Continues to Bring New Collections to Light

By , April 3, 2015
Robert Latou Dickinson, by Abram Belskie, Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Robert Latou Dickinson, by Abram Belskie, Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine

Warren Anatomical Museum Collections Assistant Lily Pelekoudas is a vital behind-the-scenes component of the Center for the History of Medicine staff. Lily has been cataloging a mix of new acquisitions and legacy collections for the Warren Anatomical Museum and making them accessible.

Lily started her Warren Museum tenure with the Dickinson-Belskie obstetrical model collection. The collection was built by obstetrician and gynecologist Robert Latou Dickinson and sculptor Abram Belskie to help the public and health care professionals visualize human reproductive anatomy. The 200-model collection is a mix of models made by Dickinson and Belskie and reproductions designed by the Cleveland Health Museum after it acquired the collection circa 1950. Lily researched the origins of the models, redesigned the museum’s photography workflow to better image the works, cataloged the individual details of each piece, reported on their condition, and packed the models in sound housing to provide for their preservation and make them easily accessible for future researchers. Lily’s Dickinson-Belskie work has already facilitated original academic research on the models.

In addition to the Dickinson collection, Lily has cataloged and photographed 125 unique items in the Warren Museum, making them available for the research community. In all, Lily has taken approximately 1200 photographs of Warren Museum collections. Throughout her work she’s encountered an aspirating kit with a Wyman aspirating trocar, a 100 W x 139 H cm teaching watercolor of a male with inguinal hernia, after Richard Quain’s The Anatomy of the Arteries of the Human Body, and a collection of 20th century intrauterine devices from around the world.

Moving forward, Lily will be working to export these newly cataloged artifacts into the Center for the History of Medicine’s web portal OnView, providing Warren Museum objects for the greater public.

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