McGovern Hall of Med History_brochure-11DORIS LEAVIT APPEL(1904-1995)

A student of the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the School of Art of Boston University, sculptor Doris Appel was married to Bernard Appel, M.D., professor of dermatology at Tufts University School of Medicine. The noted author and medical historian Henry Sigerist, MD sponsored Doris Appel for membership in the American Association for the History of Medicine in 1942, and she had many friends among the members of this distinguished organization. She confined her work to the interpretation of medical history and received encouragement from such luminaries as Albert Einstein and medical historian Arturo Castiglione.

Doris Appel’s sculptures are permanently placed in hospitals, medical schools, and museums all over the world including London, Winnipeg, Hamburg, Zurich, Beirut, Edinburgh, as well as throughout the United States. Her most monumental installation is the Hall of Medical History, which she created in two nearly identical versions. Made from a hardened clay slurry that, when chiseled, resembles granite, one is installed in the lobby of the Boston University School of Medicine and the other in the foyer of the landmark 1891 Ashbel Smith Building, affectionately known as “Old Red.” Designed by Nicholas Clayton and restored in 1983 by the UTMB School of Medicine Alumni Association, Old Red originally housed the entire University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Its amphitheater, offices and seminar rooms continue in use today.