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October 3, 1986

Athletes: The Paintings of Joe Wilder

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago


by Joseph R. Wilder, 176 pp, 125 illus, $40, New York, Harry N Abrams Inc, 1985.

JAMA. 1986;256(13):1805. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380130133044

Joseph R. Wilder, MD, describes himself as "an athlete, a surgeon, and a painter."

He is wrong. Indeed, he is all three, but he also is a writer, a photographer, and an editor. This book, a brilliant showcase of Wilder's skills with virtually all media available to an artist, also includes his personal account of the rise of a son of immigrant parents from the streets of east Baltimore to the New York surgical suite, of the debt that he acknowledges to athletics, and of the additional and stunningly successful career in art that began with his fifth decade. The book also reveals Wilder's considerable skill as a photographer, especially when it comes to framing and freezing sports action at dramatic moments that—after much study—he recaptures on canvas. And, as if all this were not enough, he shows himself to be a talented editor, too, working