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Medical News and Perspectives
December 14, 2005

Ovarian Cancer Inspires Art Exhibit

JAMA. 2005;294(22):2831-2832. doi:10.1001/jama.294.22.2831

Washington, DC—The bronze helmet and shield—a single sculpture called Warrior—is Mary Magnan’s favorite among the 15 works her husband, artist John Magnan, created in response to her diagnosis and treatment for advanced ovarian cancer.

John fashioned the armor from castings of Mary’s hairless skull and torso, taken while she was receiving chemotherapy.

“At first I was reluctant to put this work on display,” Mary said. “I felt so exposed.” But visitors to John’s New Bedford, Mass, studio convinced her the work honors the strength women muster to confront a life-threatening disease. Now, Warrior and other works in several media constitute a traveling exhibit, Body Image/Body Essence, on view through March 31, 2006, at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC.

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