Robert Riggs, Children's Ward
Children’s Ward is one of four lithographs (with Accident Ward, Ward Rounds, and Psychopathic Ward) commissioned from Robert Riggs by the pharmaceutical company Smith, Kline, and French, as part of its advertising campaign to promote advances in medicine. The lithographic reproductions were sold as a portfolio to doctors for decoration in their waiting rooms.
Set in the orthopedic ward of the Children’s Hospital of University of Pennsylvania’s or Saint Christopher’s Hospital for Children, the print depicts children beset with a variety of ailments. In the foreground, a supine young girl fitted with a cast to correct her dislocated hip joints lies in a Bradford frame. The child holding a pistol reclines in a bed intended to correct his spinal fractures. Other youngsters in casts populate the background. Despite their immobility, the children play with toys.