Can you please help me identify this drawing?
February 21, 2015 12:08 PM   Subscribe

I'd love to know more about this drawing. It seems to be an original ink drawing, but I can't identify it or find out more about the artist.

This was picked from a doctor's office, along with several other turn of the century (1900s) illustrations. No one had any information about it. I can't really make out the artist's name but have spent hours googling variations of it. Is it Wesher? Wesmer? It's one of those wonderful optical illusion drawings with a skull in it. I have never seen one like this. This is in a really old frame with decaying, ripped paper backing. Close up of sig. The whole piece. Thanks so much for any help.
posted by the webmistress to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A print, not an ink drawing. Likely related to this medical school.
posted by Scram at 12:15 PM on February 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It looks like "L. A. Wesner", and googling around for those names, it looks like it may have something to do with it:

Similia : the 1910 yearbook of the Hahnemann Medical College (1910) (.txt file here)

Louis A. Wesner

And this is a Flickr collection with the images from the book - "Similia : the 1910 yearbook of the Hahnemann Medical College" . Browse around and see if it's in there. There are other drawings featuring skulls.
posted by bitteschoen at 12:23 PM on February 21, 2015 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: bitteschoen, you rock. Thank you so much! Scram, how did you know it was a print? I'm clueless.
posted by the webmistress at 12:36 PM on February 21, 2015

I think Scram and bitteschoen are right. Here's some more info on Dr. Louis Wesner. He was a really interesting guy. I envy you this art of his, it's amazing.
posted by Beethoven's Sith at 12:37 PM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hahnneman Medical College eventually became part of Drexel University, I think. You could try contacting Drexel's archives and special collections people to see if they know anything about this:

I bet they'd be interested to see it!
posted by carter at 1:18 PM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

how did you know it was a print?

It looks like (most likely a reproduction of) a lithograph, which is a kind of print made by drawing with greasy crayon and ink on a stone. The crayon tends to show the grain of the stone and has a pretty distinctive appearance.

But also, somewhat unrelatedly: if someone said "19th-century illustration" to me, I would assume it was a print—an engraving—because that was how artwork was reproduced into books and magazines, once upon a time. That's actually what I was expecting to see before I clicked through.
posted by the_blizz at 3:52 PM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

I can't tell from the photos if it is a drawing or a print, but I was wondering, if it is a drawing, if it may be original artwork for a Hahnemann publication of the time, maybe kept by Wesner.
posted by carter at 4:04 PM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

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