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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Reblog] JAMA removes cover art, and why that matters

From time to time I glanced at JAMA cover art when working at various libraries.
Never quite understood the art. However, now I feel like part of JAMA’s soul is diminished….

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From the 6 November 2013 Kevin MD article by 

Beginning in 1964 the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) started publishing full color images of art on its cover accompanied by insightful essays.JAMA’s former editor, George Lundberg, wrote that this was part of an initiative to inform readers about nonclinical aspects of medicine and public health, and emphasize the humanities in medicine. Now after almost 50 years of covers that displayed over 2,000 pieces of art, JAMA has taken a great leap backwards and replaced the cover art with a pedestrian table of contents. The cover art that once distinguished JAMA from an array of leading medical journals has been demoted to an inside page, eliminating one of the more visible, inspiring beacons that once linked the humanities to medical science.

The cover art was always important to me. As a teenager envisioning my future, I saw copies of JAMA on my uncle’s desk. He was a medical doctor, and for me the JAMAcovers joined the visual arts to the science of medicine and gave me inspiration. As the years passed, I enjoyed seeing the distinguished covers of JAMA in medical libraries, and frequently picked them up to read the commentary. Glancing from the scientific articles to the essays on the cover art, my vision of the combination of art and medicine was validated. Over the years I received JAMA in my office and tacked many of my favorite covers to the wall by my desk.

The art swept across the vast panorama of civilization and human history. Just about any painter you can imagine has been featured on a JAMA cover. In addition the covers displayed Japanese Ukiyo-E prints (February 4, 1998), a 15th Century Apothecary Treatise (September 8, 1999), and African bronze statuary (April 6, 2011). One of my favorites was the photo of the Lewis Chessmen, a set that was carved from walrus ivory in the 12th Century and found in the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland (February 16, 2011).

Read the entire article here

November 20, 2013 - Posted by | Professional Health Care Resources | , ,

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