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The Cover
June 8, 2005

T.B. Harlem

JAMA. 2005;293(22):2696. doi:10.1001/jama.293.22.2696

Alice Neel (1900-1984) was a modern artist who had painted the portraits of many famous, gifted, and wealthy people. More often, however, she painted the poor, the depressed, and the ill. Her paintings show more than people; they are a historical record of life in 20th-century America.

At the turn of the century tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in the United States. It spared no social class but ravaged most severely the poor who lived in crowded ghettos such as New York City’s Harlem.