Dorothy Foster Chubb, 1907 – 2005

Facial Anatomy for Grant’s Atlas

Carbon dust With permission from University of Toronto Biomedical Communications program

Dorothy Foster Chubb was one of Canada’s early professionally trained medical illustrators. She was born in Hamilton Ontario in 1908. Upon returning to Canada, she worked with Maria Torrence Wishart (1893-1983) who had established the Department of Medical Art Service, a University of Toronto medical service department. Chubb then went to Baltimore where she was a student of Max Brödel in the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School, the first program to formally train medical illustrators, where Wishart had also been a student. Graduating in 1931, Chubb returned to Toronto as Wishart’s assistant. After her marriage she worked as a freelance artist for many outstanding surgeons of the era, and was well known for her accomplished carbon dust drawings.

In 1941 the University of Toronto chair of anatomy, J.C.B. Grant commissioned Dorothy Chubb to create the entire corpus of original works for the first edition of his Atlas of Anatomy. She completed most of the works in one year and they consequently show great visual and representational consistency. She contracted with Dr. Grant on the condition that she ‘not be pressured’, but she managed to finish her part of both volumes in 1943, in a very timely fashion.

Adapted from University of Toronto online interview with Nick Woolridge and Jodie Jenkinson: Body of work: The Pioneering Women Behind the Groundbreaking Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy