University Museums

Media File
Title: Veterinary Medicine Mural Model
Name: Model
Date: c. 1936
Medium: Painted plaster
Dimensions: 60 x 13 1/2 in. (152.4 x 34.3 cm)
Classification: Art on Campus Preparatory Studies and Maquettes
Credit Line: Commissioned by Iowa State College. In the Christian Petersen Art Collection, Art on Campus Preparatory Studies and Maquette Collection, Christian Petersen Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Object Number: U2004.54
More Information
The symbol of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University and for much of the veterinary profession throughout much of the world is the Gentle Doctor sculpture by Christian Petersen. Petersen wished to add a central figure, the Gentle Doctor, that would present a gentler, more humane image of veterinarians, to contrast with the purposeful and clinical struggle of the scientists in the Veterinary Medicine Mural. As an accomplishment to the heroic mural, Petersen also wanted to humanize the profession, and his solution was to present a veterinarian coming to the aid of an ailing family pet. Gazing down with both compassion and competence, a skilled an sympathetic veterinarian cradles an ill puppy in his oversized hands. The mother dog sits at the doctor’s feet, leaning against his knee, her head lifted mournfully toward her pup.

Exhibited here are the original Gentle Doctor model sculpted in painted plaster and created in 1936-37, and a posthumously 2003 bronze casting of the Veterinary Medicine Mural model. The full scale, original Gentle Doctor is on view at the entrance of the University Museums offices in the Scheman Building. The original full scale terra cotta Veterinary Medicine Mural is permanently installed at the College of Veterinary Medicine as is the painted bronze sculpture of the Gentle Doctor.