Scope and Content
Title: Sir William Osler Portrait by Seymour Thomas, and other
Date (inclusive): 1946-1986
Collection number: 181
Creator: Belt, Elmer, M.D. and
Goodwin, William E., M.D.
0.5 linear feet
(1 document box)
University of California, Los Angeles. Library.
Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections
Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
Abstract: From the original Osler portrait he had painted and
exhibited in 1909, the prominent American portraitist S. Seymour Thomas also
painted a replica. Elmer Belt, M.D., instrumental in the founding of the UCLA
School of Medicine and its staunch supporter, provided the initiative to raise
funds for purchase of this replica and arranged its presentation to the UCLA
School of Medicine by Thomas at the August 1951 opening ceremony of the new
school. This collection consists of documents about the original portrait, and
the acquisition and presentation of the replica hung at UCLA. There is also one
folder of Osleriana assembled by Elmer Belt and letters to and from him and
Willard Goodwin, M.D., Belt's nephew, who inherited the papers and gave them to
the UCLA Biomedical Library.
Physical location: Department of History and Special
Collections, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, University of California, Los
Angeles. The portrait is now displayed in the History Department's reading
Language of Material: Collection materials in English
The collection is open for research. Contact the History and Special
Collections Division, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, UCLA, for
[Identification of item], Sir William Osler Portrait by Seymour Thomas, and
other Osler-Related Papers, 181, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History
and Special Collections Division, University of California, Los Angeles.
Gift of Willard E. Goodwin, M.D., of Los Angeles, probably in the mid-1980s.
The painting was transferred to the Biomedical Library History and Special
Collections Division, where it is presently displayed, on October 20, 2005.
S. Seymour Thomas was born on Aug. 20, 1868 in San Augustine, Texas and died
in Mar. 1956. He studied at the Art Students League (1885-88) and at the
Academie Julien, Paris (1888-91); was a pupil of Jules Lefebre and Benjamin
Constant; and settled in La Crescenta, CA, near Los Angeles. He won honorary
mention (1895) and gold medals (1901 and 1904) at the Paris Salon, and was made
a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, 1905. His memberships included the Paris
Society of American Painters, the Los Angeles Art Association, Pasadena Art
Society, and the Academy of Western Painters.
Elmer Belt, M.D., renowned Los Angeles urologist and bibliophile, was highly
instrumental in the founding of the UCLA School of Medicine and he proved a very
good friend to that institution for the rest of his life. Through his initiative
the opening ceremony for the new school included the presentation of a portrait
of Sir William Osler by the artist, Seymour Thomas. Mr. Thomas had exhibited the
widely-lauded original in Paris in 1909 and kept it in his home until shortly
before his death in 1956; but he had also painted a replica, and Belt raised the
money to have that replica presented and hung at UCLA.
William E. Goodwin, M.D., also a urologist and nephew of Dr. Belt, inherited
his uncle's interest in Osler. He also inherited a folder of papers relating to
both the original and the replica of the portrait. and some other Osler-related
material, which he gave to the UCLA Biomedical Library probably in the
Scope and Content
The papers are not numerous, filling less than half of a document box. One
folder pertains to the original portrait in Oxford, England. Another pertains to
the replica hung in the Medical School lobby at UCLA. In addition, there are
letters from and to Drs. Belt and Goodwin, and a few Osler-related reprints.
A collection of S. Seymour Thomas' papers is held by UCLA Young Research
Library Special Collections Dept. as Collection 162.
A collection of Dr. Belt's correspondence, photographs, etc. is held by the
UCLA Arts Library.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
collection in the library's online public access catalog.