Reviews of the Atlas and Yale's copies
Plates from the Atlas were exhibited at the Association Annual Museum held at the time of the Annual Business Meeting in 1879. The comprehensive display included instruments, specimens, photographs, inventions, and new drugs and preparations. Original watercolors by Edwin Burgess, the artist and lithographer of the atlas, were also shown, providing a preview of upcoming installments. However, only five additional plates would be published.
Plate 49, shown here, was the last.
The Atlas received a number of positive reviews, particularly focused on the drawings:
This Fasciculus supplies life size portraits of Pityriasis rubra, popular syphilis, with indurated chancres, and Pruriginous impetigo following varicella, which are extremely beautiful, and look life-like. Edin. Medical Journal, May 1872
They are better, to our mind, than any other plates in use amongst us; and there cannot be a question as to the Society’s issue being as popular as it is useful. Lancet, n.d.
We have received the thirteenth fasciculus of this splendid collection of drawings, of which no further praise is needed than to say that they are executed with the same artistic skill and fidelity to nature which have characterized the whole series. Dublin Journal of Medical Science, May 1874.
The Atlas of Skin Diseases is surprisingly rare given its popularity and the number of copies distributed to subscribers and to non-members of the Society.
Many of the surviving copies may have been protected by a portfolio which held the loose plates. The portfolios were made available in first, second, and third quality. The atlas that belonged to Harvey Cushing is preserved in a well-worn cloth cover.
In November, 2014, the Library received an atlas which had belonged to the physician Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. The gift of Drs. Marie-Louise Johnson and Kenneth Johnson, the atlas had belonged to a family friend who received it from Holmes. Dr. Marie-Louise Johnson was one of the first residents and full time faculty members in dermatology at Yale.