The Art of Observation – Blaffer Art Museum

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The Art of Observation

April 14, 2014 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

In the Art of Observation, Dr. Wolf examines how similar methods of observation are applied by both art historians in analysis of a painting and physicians as it relates to differential diagnosis and diagnosis in dermatology.

The primary thesis of the talk is that observation is critical to the effective practice of medicine, and that powers of observation can be improved through the study of literature (in this case, Sherlock Holmes) & art.  In A Scandal in Bohemia, Holmes told Watson “you see, but you do not observe”.

“When you study art, you enhance and strengthen your own powers of observation. When you look at artworks you go through the same cycle you do to make a diagnosis clinically. In the visual arts you observe a painting, ask questions about what you are seeing and then resolve those questions. In terms of diagnosis in dermatology, we talk about observation, differential diagnosis and diagnosis…two very parallel pathways.”

Dr. Wolf has been on the full-time faculty of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas since 1974, rising to the rank of Professor and Chairman of the Department of Dermatology in 1984.  He is Chief of the Dermatology Services at The Methodist Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, and Ben Taub General Hospital. 

Dr. Wolf is a Diplomat of the American Board of Dermatology (1973) and has been active in many medical societies. he has authored over 170 publications and delivered more than 1000 scientific and clinical presentations. He has lectured throughout North America and in more than 25 countries.  He is he second lecturer selected to present in the ‘Houston Arts and Medicine Lecture Series”.

Tickets are free but required, get your tickets here

Need directions to Cullen Performance Hall on University of Houston’s main campus? Click here

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, The Honors College, Houston Methodist Center for Performaing Arts Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Cullen College of Engineering, College of Technology, and Houston Public Media with additional support from UH Human Resources Work/Life Program, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, and the UH Student Program Board.

This lecture is the second in a series of programs developed by Blaffer Art Museum and The Honors College at the University of Houston in collaboration with the Center for Performing Arts Medicine (CPAM) at Houston Methodist Hospital, and Baylor College of Medicine.  This initiative is designed to connect the arts and sciences through curriculum and public programs and to deepen the ties between the University and the City of Houston


April 14, 2014
11:00 am - 12:00 pm



Phone: 713-743-9521
Mailing Address: Blaffer Art Museum
University of Houston
120 Fine Arts Building Houston, TX 77204