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Medical History Society of New Jersey

MHSNJ Presents: "French Caricatures of Doctors (1906-1926): Graphic Satire and the Search for Hidden Meanings”

  • Tuesday, February 15, 2022
  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Zoom

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On Tuesday, February 15 at 7:00pm EST via Zoom, the Medical History Society of New Jersey is hosting Dr. W. Bruce Fye as he presents “French Caricatures of Doctors (1906-1926): Graphic Satire and the Search for Hidden Meanings.”

The MHSNJ is honored to be hosting Dr. Fye. He is Emeritus Professor of Medicine and the History of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, author of over a hundred articles and three books, and past president of the American College of Cardiology, the American Association for the History of Medicine, and the American Osler Society.


From Dr. Fye:

"Chanteclair was a periodical published by the French pharmaceutical firm Laboratoire Carnine Lefrancq between 1906 and 1936. It was designed as an upscale marketing vehicle that contained well-illustrated articles about art, French history and biography, and the history of medicine.

During its thirty-year run, Chanteclair published more than 300 colorful caricatures of physicians and surgeons, most of which were drawn by four artists. Almost all of the doctors were French, and most of their names would have been known to the periodical’s readers. Today, the great majority of these individuals are forgotten—even in France. But a few of their names survive in eponyms. Examples of the individuals depicted in my talk include Joseph Babinski, Albert Calmette, Alexis Carrel, Georges Clemenceau, and Emil Roux.

Unlike most caricatures published in the nineteenth century, the twentieth century Chanteclair caricatures were not simply portraits that exaggerated facial features. The artist placed a physician or surgeon in a scene that reflected their main professional activity or their best known contribution. Most of the caricatures are rich in symbolism. I shall provide interpretations of some of the symbols, but many components of the various images are hard to interpret without knowing more about the subject or their context (in terms of time and place)."

Please join us for this lavishly illustrated presentation!


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