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Dorcas Hager Padget: Drawing it all inside

[ photo: Dorcas Hager Padget ]

Drawing it all inside

Before digital medical imaging there were anatomists--artists like Leonardo DaVinci and Andreas Vesalius and, later, Max Brodel and Dorcas Hager Padget '27—who combined the ability to draw beautifully and the insight to render an understandable scientific view of the body.

Hager Padget came to Vassar to major in biology. She fell in love with illustration when she took a course on life drawing and, later, assisted in the illustration of a textbook for one of her professors. After Vassar, Hager Padget studied under Brodel in the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine at Johns Hopkins. She was soon hired by prominent neurosurgeon Walter Dandy as a medical artist, and after Dandy's death in 1946 undertook her own research. Hager Padget went on to become a pioneer in the fields of neurosurgical illustration and neuroembryology, publishing the first major work on the neurodevelopment of the cerebral arterial and venous systems.

Journal of Neurosurgery, April 2004