Special Exhibition “The Face of Medicine”


In the summer of last year, forty-four portrait paintings and eight statues were transferred from the University of Tokyo Hospital to the University Museum. The collection of portrait paintings hung on the large wall behind the stage of the Hospital’s Auditorium of Internal Medicine. There, the portraits of the successive professors aligned on five levels formed an impressive panorama expressing the authority of medicine and the history of education. Because it was kept on elevated parts of the auditorium space, the collection remained untouched and well-preserved for a long period of time. This environment allowed us to perfectly trace the genealogy of the hospital directors. Such a mode of existence for a heritage composed of official portraits can be said to be particularly rare. Immediately, the University Museum started cleaning the portraits and restoring their surfaces. Although the restoration is still in progress, we are now presenting, with the cooperation of restorer Fujiko Suzukamo, the first results of our work to the general public. Until now, there had been no opportunity to take a close look at the portraits, whether they are gelatin silver prints or oil paintings. We thus hope you appreciate the majestic appearance of physicians from the Meiji era.

[Organizer] The University Museum, the University of Tokyo (UMUT)

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