Robert Riggs, Ward Rounds

Robert Riggs: Ward Rounds (c. 1941) lithograph on heavy woven paper
Title
Ward Rounds
Date
c. 1941
Medium
lithograph on heavy woven paper
Credit Line
Gift of Clare W. Gargalli and Robert B. Waterhouse in memory of Dr. Robert B. Waterhouse
Dimensions
14 1/8" x 18 7/8"

Ward Rounds is one of four lithographs (with Accident Ward, Children’s Ward, 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.

Here the chief of medicine, with a coterie of residents and interns, examines a dying woman with a prominently distended abdomen. The woman resignedly gestures to herself as the doctor probes her stomach. Her mostly obscured roommate confronts the viewer with a cold gaze.

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