Online Exhibits@Yale

Ward Rounds

Ward Rounds

Ward Rounds, c.1941, Riggs, Robert U.S.A. 1896-1970, Lithograph, Bequest of Clements C. Fry 1955

This 65 year old woman presents with fatigue and abdominal discomfort.  She has a history of hepatitis C from former drug use and hopes to be considered for a liver transplant.  She denies drug and alcohol use for the past 10 years

 Ward Rounds was one of four scenes from Philadelphia hospitals rendered by Robert Riggs on commission from Smith, Kline, and French, the pharmaceutical company.   The lithographs were meant to be reproduced for physicians’ offices and waiting rooms.  But, the prints proved to be unsuitable for that purpose.  Today, however, they are considered classics of the period.  Note how the use of lighting draws the viewer’s eye to the patient’s bloated belly and away from her face, perhaps lending her symptoms a degree of primacy that supersedes her individuality.

Ward Rounds