Paul Norman Peck, PhD (1907-1982) was one of the most talented medical illustrators of the 20th Century. A meager Russian immigrant who grew up in Paris and emigrated to New York in 1916, Paul Peck went on to a stellar career in medical illustration. As wonderful and as groundbreaking as his work is, amazingly, it’s not well-known in our profession. Names like Max Brödel, Tom Jones and Frank Netter are much more familiar, but Paul Peck’s work certainly stands alongside other giants in our field. Fortunately, he has left us an immeasurable legacy, which we are just beginning to discover.
In 2018, the Biomedical Visualization graduate program at the University of Illinois at Chicago was honored to receive a donation of 461 pieces of Paul Peck’s original medical illustration from Merck & Co., Inc. This presentation will share the story of Paul’s life and review some outstanding examples from the collection. We will discuss what makes the color artwork so remarkable and unique, and explain how the technology of the 1960’s has evolved into and influenced the techniques we use today.