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The Cover
August 25, 2004

Zinnia Bouquet

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(8):900. doi:10.1001/jama.292.8.900

They were the medical student and the art student and they first met in 1904 at Mrs Chain's boarding house on Locust Street in Philadelphia where they were attending the University of Pennsylvania and the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry, respectively. Their friendship would last for more than three decades, until the art student died in 1935. The medical student, meanwhile, had become a busy pediatrician in Paterson, NJ, a writer of short stories, and an acclaimed poet of the American avant-garde movement. Many years later, when he wrote his autobiography, William Carlos Williams recalled his friend Charles Demuth (1883-1935) as a "wisp of a man," who was lame and appeared tuberculous. Demuth, in turn, immortalized Williams in a 1928 painting whose title was taken from one of Williams' most famous poems, "I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold" (JAMA cover, January 2, 1981).