The Noblest Feature: The Eye Paintings of J. McGuinness Myers

Eye Eye
Primary Amyloidosis of the Vitreous
and Surgical Treatment, 1966-68
Mixed media
Copyright © 2012 Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. All Rights Reserved.
March 3 – October 2, 2016
In 1966, the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute engaged noted medical illustrator J. McGuinness Myers to paint a series of eyes with ocular conditions that patients presented to the faculty of the Institute. This exhibition features highlights from this work, which captures with great aesthetic sensitivity what Henry David Thoreau referred to as “the noblest feature, the eye … the jewel of the body.” Myers’ interpretive works offer something rare and precious in which the non-specialist viewer can find a boundless array of visual metaphors, from seascapes to moonscapes, from Christmas trees to flowers.