Selected Speeches

Vesalius Unveiled

Vesalius Installation
Feb. 27, 2015
Health Sciences and Human Services Library

Vesalius UnveiledIt’s an honor to be here today among friends to celebrate this incredible gift to the University. I echo M.J. in my sincere thanks to everyone who’s played a part in bringing Vesalius to UMB. It’s such a fitting home for this beautiful piece.

I offer thanks to Dr. Richard Weisman for hatching a great idea and pursuing it with energy, and to Larry Pitrof for recognizing a great idea when he sees one and bringing together the people who would make this day happen.

Of course, I’m deeply and especially grateful to Dorothy and Henry Rosenberg for their extraordinary generosity. The University’s students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be reminded of your kindness every time they stop to admire this magnificent painting.

And to Joseph Sheppard, I’m simply awed by this work and so honored to have it installed here at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Clearly, we think there’s harmony in this setting. UMB is home not only to the country’s oldest public medical school, but to one of its very best health sciences and human services libraries. And I can imagine no better space than this for a painting that illuminates—at once—the art and the science of human anatomy. For us, I’d say it’s the ultimate acquisition.

As a University community, we’re growing more mindful of the intersection between art and science—how they influence and inform one another. We’re growing more mindful about providing students experiences with the arts, and opportunities to pursue scholarship in the dynamic areas where art and science meet. This painting, Vesalius, so beautifully captures this confluence.

And, of course, it reminds the physicians and health professionals among us of our exceedingly long history and our unchanging obligation throughout the centuries: to seek and share knowledge that advances human health and well-being; and to pursue truth and transparency in our practice.

Andreas Vesalius is one of history’s great pioneers of this tradition. And now he’s with us forever. I think we all might take some inspiration from that.

Again, to Mr. and Mrs. Rosenberg, thank you for this gift. We’ll cherish it always.

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