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Regional Anatomy in its Relation to Medicine and Surgery (1892), by George McClellan

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Regional anatomy in its Relation to Medicine and Surgery.
J.B. Lippincott Company, 1892
George McClellan
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McClellan conducted 300 different dissections (using the dissection kit pictured here) to create the illustrations used in his Regional Anatomy.

George McClellan (1849-1913), an 1870 graduate of Jefferson Medical College, was the grandson of George McClellan (the founder of Jefferson) and nephew of the Civil War General George B. McClellan. An artist as well as physician and teacher, McClellan spent three years at the Arts Department of the University of Pennsylvania before beginning his studies at Jefferson. His career included holding surgical positions at Blockley, Howard, and St. Joseph’s Hospitals and the establishment of the Pennsylvania School of Anatomy and Surgery where he taught for 12 years. In addition, McClellan held the post of Professor of Anatomy for Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1905, he was appointed chair of Applied and Topographic Anatomy at Jefferson; a post he held until his death in 1913.

During his lifetime, McClellan authored two books dealing with anatomy: Regional Anatomy in its Relation to Medicine and Surgery (1892) and Anatomy in Relation to Art (1901). Regional Anatomy, published in two volumes containing 97 colored plates, enjoyed widespread use going into four editions in English and two in French. The two volumes divide the human body into various sections with comprehensive descriptions written by McClellan. The appropriate plate as well as a detailed explanatory table further illustrates each written descriptions. Volume 1 of Regional Anatomy has been digitized and is freely viewable in the Jefferson Digital Commons.

In addition, he not only conducted the dissections and wrote the text but also photographed and hand-colored the original images for reproduction. All in all, McClellan’s Regional Anatomy can be considered as much a work of art as an anatomy text, and thoroughly a work of its author.

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