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March 11, 1988

Alzheimer's Disease: Unskilled Vulgarity Decays Into Stunning Artistic Genius

Author Affiliations

North Hollywood, Calif

North Hollywood, Calif

JAMA. 1988;259(10):1495. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720100017012

To the Editor.  —The article entitled "Probable Alzheimer's Disease in an Artist" by Drs Cummings and Zarit1 in the Nov 20, 1987, issue of JAMA was one of the funniest articles I have ever read. The humor was all the more hilarious because it was unintentional and it entirely escaped the authors. They show a picture painted by the artist before the onset of Alzheimer's disease (Fig 1) that is a nice little picture, quite photographic in content and worth about $75. Figure 2 in the article shows a stunning painting done after the artist acquired Alzheimer's disease! It looks like a Van Gogh and is typical of Impressionism. I would like to buy it.This would lead one to reason by induction that crazy artists are better than sane ones, and that is often true.