Museum staff were very saddened Friday to learn about the passing of our highly respected and loved docent Dr. Irv Schatz. Dr. Schatz was emeritus Chief of Medicine at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and a retired internist. He became a docent in 2006 and was instrumental in the creation of the Enhancing Clinical Skills Through Art course, a for-credit elective developed for medical students. The photo above shows Dr. Schatz leading a Clinical Skills session in the Portrait Gallery in 2013.
Education curator Betsy Robb, who oversees the docent program, worked closely with Dr. Schatz. She shared these words about him:
A highlight of working with Irv was planning Enhancing Clinical Skills through Art. Every year, Irv, [fellow docent-doctor] Steve Miller and I would get together to plan which paintings to use and discuss how they connected to observation skills and medicine. I learned so much about medicine—now I see our portrait collection through Irv’s keen medical eyes. I learned that the galleries are filled with serious medical conditions and how the best physicians, like Irv, handle each one with sensitive care and experise.Irv’s favorite place in the museum was the Portrait Gallery, especially the ladies by artists Sargent, Whistler, Neel and Katz! Nearly every Tour and Talk Story theme he ever planned was about our lady portraits! He was scheduled to give a tour called Chasing the Nude on May 19, 21, and 24, which will still be given in his honor by fellow docent Carol Bonham.
It was an honor to work with Irv. He was a wonderful, brilliant man who was very caring and had a great sense of humor. We will all miss Irv very much, and share our condolences with his family.