Elmhurst Hospital Center Mural – Queens NY

Project type: Art, Murals
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Description

As of 2009, this 1938 WPA mural by William Palmer entitled “The Development of Medicine” is located in the Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens. It may have originally been installed in the Queens General Hospital (now the Queens Hospital Center).

According to a 1964 interview with the artist:

“It was stated in a recent book on the WPA – that the panel Controlled Medicine was in effect a plea for and propaganda for socialized medicine. This statement is without any basis of fact, and the author never contacted me for my analysis panel. To put the record straight – the mural Development of Medicine was painted to show the ignorance, superstition and fear of “uncontrolled medicine” – the great historical contributions and discoveries which lead up to the scientific and enlightened medicine and hospital care of the 30s, as shown in Controlled Medicine. The theme of this panel shows the equipment, etc., used by the hospital in prevention of disease and the treatment of the patient. Socialized medicine was not in my vocabulary in 1936, and certainly in doing my research for the work it was never considered or mentioned by any hospital authority. The real purpose of the murals at Queens was to serve two main purposes – one, to give the waiting patients in the “in-coming and out-going patients rooms” something to look at and to inform them of the history and background of treatment – and two, Dr. Kogel, the Superintendent of Queens used the panels in this lectures to student nurses on the history of medicine.”

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Location Info


79-01 Broadway
Queens, NY 11373

Coordinates: 40.7451948, -73.8856028

One comment on “Elmhurst Hospital Center Mural – Queens NY

  1. harris sterman

    the mural was in queens general the A building on the second floor by the surgical floor suites
    when they renovated the floor in the 1989-90 time period the mural was taken down
    the panel was very long and i think you are missing the first and last panels
    there was alot of commotion/action in the mural

    if i remember correctly there panel on the left had an entrance to the operating room and i rememeber a police officer in the one of the panels . the last panel i think had a exit door in it as well

    i was a resident in general surgery at the time and when they took it down i wonder what was going to happen to it and that it might “disappear”

    i was aways sorry i never took a picture of it

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