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Max (Paul Heinrich) Brödel

Max (Paul Heinrich) Brödel


Brödel, an illustrator and the first director of the Art as Applied to Medicine program at Johns Hopkins, was born in Leipzig, Germany. Brödel attended the Leipzig Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Leipzig, then worked as an illustrator for Carl Ludwig in the university’s Institute of Physiology.

In that position, Brödel met visiting American scientists who came to study under Ludwig; one urged him to come to Johns Hopkins. Upon his arrival in Baltimore in 1894, Brödel was quickly employed by Howard Kelly, chief of gynecology, as illustrator for a two-volume textbook, Operative Gynecology. The book revolutionized the practice of gynecology and garnered international acclaim for Brödel. He then worked on additional textbooks and with other Johns Hopkins physicians and surgeons.

In 1911, gynecologist Thomas Cullen proposed creating a department where Brödel could train students in the techniques of medical illustration. Baltimore financier, philanthropist, and art collector Henry Walters agreed to support the venture, and provided an endowment which created the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine. It opened in 1911 with Brödel as its first director, a position he held for thirty years.

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