Transform the art on our walls | Catch My Job


Four years ago, images of women were virtually non-existent in Yale School of Medicine’s (YSM) much-used public space.

That changed in mid-2019 with the opening Aperture: Portrait of Women Faculty in Medicine. The exhibit, sponsored by the YSM Program for Art in Public Spaces, will be on view on the second floor of Sterling Hall of Medicine. Featuring photographic portraits by New Haven photographer Robert Lysak, the exhibit—in fact nearly a year in the making—is still going strong.

hole Inspired by 100 years of women in YSM celebrations, many photographic portraits were taken by Lisak. The photographer later gifted prints of the portrait to YSM, paving the way for the exhibition. Already updated once with new portraits, hole This spring will undergo a third iteration. In the meantime, the exhibit is being refreshed with some new portraits of Lissac and updated label text.

“The response to the exhibit was so positive that we decided it should be maintained to honor female faculty and inspire members of the medical school community,” said Anna Reisman, MD, director of the Medicine in Humanities Program and YSM Program for Art in Public Space ( PAPS), which sponsored the exhibition.

“Whenever I feel discouraged as a young, aspiring female physician, I walk down this hallway and think about why I’m doing what I’m doing and chasing my dreams,” wrote Saira Munshani, a research assistant in the lab of Barbara Ehrlich, PhD, commenting on the book. Accompanying the exhibition. “The incredible women in STEM, both on these walls and off, inspire me to persevere, work hard and ask questions. To this day, nothing excites me more than the excitement I feel after reading their stories and advice, and hoping that one day I can be as strong, intelligent and strong as them.”

Aperture refers to a space or gap, a title that was a nod to the lack of women on SHM’s walls when the exhibition opened. Since then, PAPS has mounted a series of exhibitions on the walls of YSM’s public spaces with the goal of making art more inclusive and better reflecting the YSM community. Community in Crisis: Yale, New Haven, and HIV/AIDS, 1981-1996 And Accolades: Researchers, Networks and Award-Winning Science at YSM Replaced the portraits of Dean and others that were on the second floor of SHM. Dean’s portraits have now been moved down the hall and are displayed with short biographies

Outside the Medical Library on the first floor of SHM, A portrait of power, a portrait exhibit of health care providers, scientists and other essential workers at YSM and Yale New Haven Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, replaces the portraits that had hung there for decades. An earlier exhibition, Self-reflection, featuring artwork created by YSM staff, trainees and faculty. Portrait of Deputy Dean Carolyn W. Sleiman, PhD (1937-2016); Professor Dorothy Horstmann, MD (1911-2001); and Beatrix McCleary Hamburg, MD (1923-2018) also feature prominently.

PAPS was created in 2018 so that artwork in YSM’s public areas reflects the school’s mission and diverse communities. PAPS aims to tell the school’s growing story through art that acknowledges its history, achievements and culture. The program is supported by the Dean’s Office; Program for Humanities in Medicine; Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library.

“When the Program for Art in Public Spaces was formed, we set out to transform the hallways of the School of Medicine,” said Darin Lattimore, MD, deputy dean for diversity and inclusion and co-director of PAPS. “Although we’re a work in progress, I think we’re moving in the right direction.”


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