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History of Medicine Mural

The mural stretches along the Hospital Lobby

Mural artist John Hunn created the impressive History of Medicine Mural that lines the wall of the Southeast Hospital lobby in his downtown St. Louis studio. At 72 feet long and nearly 11 feet tall, the mural is the largest canvas piece Hunn has created.

It was dedicated in November 1996.

The mural was made possible through a gift to the Southeast Missouri Foundation from the estate of John H. Wiseman, who died in October 1995, at age 75.

The faces depicted in this Timeline of Medical Progress

Imhotep, an ancient Egyptian architect, physician and statesman who lived about 2650 B.C. His fame as a physician led the Greeks to identify him with their god of healing.

Asclepius is know as the god of healing in Greek mythology. His symbol, a snake entwined around a staff, was adopted many centuries ago as the symbol of the medical profession.

Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) was a French scientist who discovered bacteria spreads disease, how people develop an immunity, and how vaccinations can ward off diseases. He also developed pasteurization to preserve food. He is most famous for the development of the rabies vaccine.

Clara Barton (1821-1912) founded the American Red Cross in 1881.

Hippocrates was a physician who practiced medicine on the Greek Island of Kos around 400 B.C. He sought cures in science, not in gods. Often called the "Father of Medicine," new physicians still take the Hippocratic Oath of ethical professional behavior.

Closeup of History of Medicine Mural

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) painted such masterpieces as Mona Lisa. But he was also one of the first scholars to investigate, through drawings, the human body, human reproduction and embryology.

Lazzaro Spallanzani, (1729-1799) an Italian biologist, proved that air carries microscopic life. He also proved boiling could kill these germs.

Robert Koch (1843-1910) This German physician played a key role in the development of bacteriology as a science. He earned the 1905 Nobel Prize for his discovery of the germ that causes tuberculosis.

Marie Curie (1867-1934) helped scientists learn more about radioactive elements, including the discovery of radium. She was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize.

Joseph Lister (1827-1912), an English scientist, founded antiseptic surgery. Before his medical discovery, more than 50 percent of all surgical patients died because of infection.

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)
She was the founder of the nursing profession as it is known today. During the Crimean War, she became known to British soldiers as "the Lady with the Lamp." The light she carried has come to mean compassion and care for the sick.

Country Doctor: During Missouri's frontier days, health care was often provided by the "country doctor," who made his rounds by horse and buggy.

Modern Doctor: Today's physicians have technology and medicines that were beyond the imagination of their frontier counterparts. They continue to search for new technologies and treatments to save lives. 

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) Many of his scientific principles have been applied in the development of space age medicine. He is best known for his Theory of Relativity, a new theory of space and time.