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February 22, 1971

Micro-Art: Art Images in a Hidden World

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1971;215(8):1330. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180210074034

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Every medical student has had training in microscopy, but all too often he regarded this merely as an annoying aspect of medical education. A few physicians, to be sure, became pathologists and anatomists, and for them the microscope serves as a working tool, having technical implications in the study of disease. Rarely, however, a physician such as Dr. Wolberg (who is a psychiatrist) regards the microscopic image as an object of intrinsic beauty.

Out of long experience in his hobby Dr. Wolberg has gathered together well over 200 photomicrographs, picturing various facets of the vegetable, animal, and mineral kingdoms. The details which magnification alone makes visible are presented not for their botanical, mineralogical, or zoological import, but for their aesthetic qualities. The photomicrographs present art forms drawn from nature—abstract arrangements in both black and white and in color. Very often we simply are not aware whether the magnification is relatively