Medical Illustration drawings

RIT Archives

Table of Contents

Collection Overview
Biographical/Historical Information
Scope and Content
Additional Finding Aids
Subject Headings
Information for Researchers
Administrative Information
Other Descriptive Data

Collection Overview (Collapse)

Medical Illustration drawings
Creator - Illustrator
Broedel, Max, 1870-1941
Creator - Illustrator
Didusch , William P.
Creator - Illustrator
Jacobs, Natt C.
Creator - Illustrator
Ng, Peter
Creator - Illustrator
Wabnitz, Robert
Bulk Date(s)
Inclusive Date(s)
circa 1905-1984
Large collection of medical illustration sketches, drawings and teaching aids from the College of Fine Arts Medical Illustration program. Illustrators included are Natt Jacobs, Robert Wabnitz, Peter Ng, William Didusch, and Max Brodel.
10.0 Linear feet (14 boxes)
C.S. North, Shelf 13-16
RIT Archive Collections
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York, 14623
(585) 475-2557

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Biographical/Historical Information (Collapse)

Natt C. Jacobs was the first medical illustrator in Rochester and founded the area's only Medical Illustration program. Born in 1895 in Rochester, he graduated from the Rochester Athenaeum & Mechanics Institute (RAMI) in 1913. He later studied medical illustration with Max Brodel at the John Hopkins Medical School. In 1925, he was hired by the Department of Anatomy at the newly opened University of Rochester School of Medicine. He spent his entire 34 year career at UR. In 1948, he established his own school of Medical Illustration at UR. Jacobs died suddenly in 1959. The program folded shortly afterwards. revived several years later, eventually moving to RIT.

Like Jacobs, Robert Wabnitz began his art training at RAMI, then served in WWII and upon return attended Natt Jacobs' Medical Illustration program at UR. After working in New Orleans and New York City, he returned to UR in 1960 to replace the late Natt Jacobs as head of the Medical Illustration Unit, as the teaching program was closed. He directed the Unit for over 25 years. In 1975, UR introduced a Master's degree program in Health Sciences Education with a track in medical illustration. In 1977, Wabnitz created an undergraduate program in Medical Illustration at RIT. In 1978 UR's Master's program was phased out and in 1981 relocated to RIT. Bob "Wabby" Wabnitz retired from RIT in 1998.

By combining drawing and science, the Medical Illustration major teaches how to translate anatomical and surgical sketches into instructional illustrations to visually support the allied health and medical educational fields. The major spans the full range of artistic media to produce a wide variety of images. Through collaboration with area hospitals, students obtain first-hand experience in real-life medical situations.

Although traditional media such as pencil, pen & ink, carbon dust, and watercolor are still employed, the programs emphasis is on computer graphics and other digital technology. 2D and 3D computer illustrations are integrated into the studio environment to facilitate the creation of sophisticated images along with well-designed, interactive educational media displays. This major is one of a very few undergraduate medical illustration majors offered in the country that prepare students to join the medical team as an allied health professional.


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Scope and Content (Collapse)

Collection contains a total of fourteen boxes of drawings of medical procedures divided into the following record group series:

  1. Series 1: Orthopedic Surgeries
  2. Series 2: Infant/Child Surgeries
  3. Series 3: N.C. Jacobs Drawings & Misc. Wabnitz
  4. Series 4: Exhibition Materials
  5. Series 5: Miscellaneous Procedures (Non-Infant)
  6. Series 6: Miscellaneous, Mixed, or Unlabeled Drawings
  7. Series 7: Medical Illustration Sketches and Teaching Aids

A majority of the drawings appear to have been created by Bob Wabnitz. Orthopedic Surgeries and Infant/Child Surgeries were created as textbook illustrations, likely for Orthopaedic Surgery by Robert R. Duthie and Atlas of Pedriatic Surgery by Robert R. White, both illustrated by Wabnitz. A number of the drawings in the other series were likely drawn by Watnitz. Each series is then broken into sections, for example, Orthopedic surgeries breaks down to Hand, Thorax/Shoulder, Lower Back/Pelvis, Hip Replacement, and Legs and Knees. These hand drawn detailed drawings using carbon dust demonstrate step-by-step procedures.

Exhibition materials contains items used in an exhibition about the Medical Illustration programs held at RIT. Some of the drawings are by Natt C. Jacobs, and a few by William P. Didush, from John Hopkins University and Peter Ng, a colleague of Wabnitz at UR. Many are unidentified.

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Arrangement (Collapse)

Drawings are arranged by Series, then Section.

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Additional Finding Aids (Collapse)

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Medical Illustration drawings

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Subject Headings (Collapse)

Personal Name(s)

  • Broedel, Max, 1870-1941
  • Didusch , William P.
  • Jacobs, Natt C.
  • Ng, Peter
  • Wabnitz, Robert
  • Hinz, Glen

Corporate Name(s)

  • Rochester Institute of Technology. College of Fine and Applied Arts.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology. College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.
  • University of Rochester. School of Medicine .


  • Medical illustration -- New York (State) -- Rochester
  • Medical illustration -- Study and teaching
  • Medical illustrators -- New York (State) -- Rochester


  • Drawings (visual works)

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Information for Researchers (Collapse)

RIT Art Collection

Medical Illustration drawings, RIT Art Collection

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open to researchers.

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Administrative Information (Collapse)

Collection ID


Accession Information

Accession number(s): 2015:072

Source of Acquisition

Drawings were transferred to RIT Archive Collections in June 2015 by Glen Hintz, Associate Professor, School of Art, College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in September 2015.

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Other Descriptive Data (Collapse)

Drawings are currently being systematically digitized, therefore some may not be available. Check with the RIT Archives staff before visiting.

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