A Psychiatric Milestone by Various

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Page 1

A hundred years of growth and activity in the work thus established have
now been accomplished, and it seemed fitting to the Governors of the
Hospital that the event should be commemorated in a way that would be
appropriate to its significance and importance. It was decided that the
principal place in the celebration should be given to the purely medical
and scientific aspects of the work, with special reference to the
progress which had been made in the direction of the practical
usefulness of psychiatry in the treatment of illness generally, and in
the management of problems of human behavior and welfare. Arrangements
were made for four addresses by physicians of conspicuous eminence in
their particular fields, and invitations to attend the exercises were
sent to the leading psychiatrists, psychologists, and neurologists of
America, and to others who were known to be specially interested in the
field of study and practice in which the Hospital is engaged. It was
felt that, in view of the place which France and England had held in the
movement in which Bloomingdale Asylum had its origin, it would add
greatly to the interest and value of the celebration if representatives
of these countries were present and made addresses. How fortunate it
was, then, that it became possible to welcome from France Dr. Pierre
Janet, who stands pre-eminent in the field of psychopathology, and from
England Dr. Richard G. Rows, whose contributions to the study and
treatment of the war neuroses and to the relation between psychic and
physical reactions marked him as especially qualified to present the
more advanced view-point of British psychiatry. The other two principal
addresses were made by Dr. Adolf Meyer, who, by reason of his scientific
contributions and his wonderfully productive practical work in clinical
and organized psychiatry and in mental hygiene, is the acknowledged
leader of psychiatry in America, and by Dr. Lewellys F. Barker, who,
because of his eminence as an internist and of the extent to which he
has advocated and employed psychiatric knowledge and methods in his
practice, has contributed greatly to interesting and informing
physicians concerning the value and importance of psychiatry in general
medical practice. The addresses given by these distinguished physicians,
representing advanced views in psychiatry held in Europe and America,
were peculiarly appropriate to the occasion and to the object of the
celebration. They were supplemented by an historical review of the
origin and development of the Hospital and of its work by Mr. Edward W.
Sheldon, President of the Society of the New York Hospital, and by a
statement concerning the medical development, made by Dr. William L.
Russell, the Medical Superintendent. The greetings of the New York
Academy of Medicine were presented in an interesting address by Dr.
George D. Stewart, President of the Academy.

Of scarcely less significance and interest than the addresses was the
pageant presented on the lawn during the intermission between the
sessions, depicting scenes and incidents illustrating the origin and
development of the Hospital, and of psychiatry and mental hygiene. The
text and the scenes displayed were prepared by Dr. Charles I. Lambert,
First Assistant Physician of the Hospital, and by Mrs. Adelyn Wesley,
who directed the performance and acted as narrator. The performers were
persons who were connected with the Hospital, twenty-two of whom were

The celebration was held on May 26, 1921. The weather was exceptionally
clear, with bright sunshine and moderate temperature. The grounds, in
their Spring dress of fresh leaves and flowers, were especially
beautiful. This added much to the attractiveness of the occasion and the
pleasure of those who attended. Luncheon was served on the lawn in front
of the Brown Villa and the pageant was presented on the adjoining
recreation grounds. The beauty of the day and the surroundings, the
character of the addresses and of the speakers, the remarkable felicity
and grace with which they were introduced by the President, the dignity
and noble idealism of his closing words, and the distinguished character
of the audience, all contributed to make the celebration one of
exceptional interest and value to those who were present, and a notable
event in the history of the Hospital.

For the purpose of preserving, and of perhaps extending to some who were
not present, the spirit of the occasion, and of placing in permanent
form an account of the proceedings and the addresses which were made,
this volume has been published by the Society of the New York Hospital.




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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Thu 21st Feb 2019, 1:57