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'Wounded in Action' Art Exhibition Honors Vets, Surgeons

The images evoke hurt and despair. They also bring to mind hope and heroism. Frequently, these disparate emotions, and others, are all provoked by the same work of art. The paintings, photographs, sculptures, and other works of art on exhibit through Nov. 12 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) are inspired by the ravages of war, and by modern medicine's attempts to mitigate the physical damages of battle.

The exhibit, entitled "Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements," is sponsored by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Pieces on display are split between the campus of UMB and the National Museum of Health and Medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

At UMB, the works can be found on the first floor of the Health Sciences & Human Services Library, as well as on the second floor of the Southern Management Corporation Campus Center. Those buildings are located adjacent to one another near the intersection of Lombard and Greene Streets. The library is open Monday through Saturday and the campus center is open daily. Admission is free and the exhibit is open to the public.

UMB's West Baltimore campus is the home of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Baltimore VA Medical Center, and the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center-all of which contribute research to the treatment of severe orthopedic injuries. Such research, along with improvements to body and vehicle armor, has increased the survival rate of injured soldiers to nine-in-10 in Iraq, compared with three in four in Vietnam, according to the AAOS. But the men and women who survive are more likely to suffer from severe orthopedic injuries. Loss of limbs is not uncommon.

The artists who contributed to the "Wounded in Action" exhibit include veterans-some of whom sustained grave orthopedic injuries-and orthopedic surgeons who treated wounded soldiers, sailors and airmen. Families of wounded veterans are also represented among the artists and in the artworks. In a book about the exhibit, the AAOS acknowledges that the artworks reflect complex feelings. "While the artwork can be hopeful, it often disturbs. There is patriotism, but there also is disillusionment."

"We're excited that the Wounded in Action exhibit will be at UMB over the course of several significant national holidays, including Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Veterans Day," says MJ Tooey, MLS, UMB's associate vice president for Academic Affairs and executive director of the library. "We are seeking opportunities to develop programming-open to the entire UMB and wider Baltimore community-that will further explore the nuances and significance of this amazing exhibit."

"As Maryland's public academic healthcare center, UMB is delighted to be partnering with AAOS and the National Museum of Health and Medicine to bring this provocative exhibit to Baltimore," says James Hughes, MBA, vice president for the Office of Research and Development at UMB. "By portraying the challenges in repairing war's assault on the human body and spirit, the artwork will inspire the thousands of healthcare students, clinicians, and researchers at UMB and throughout Greater Baltimore."

Posting Date: 05/21/2010
Contact Name: Jeffrey Raymond
Contact Phone: 410-706-3803
Contact Email: jraymond@umaryland.edu