Leon Schlossberg, 87, JHU professor, expert in medical illustration

Leon Schlossberg, a Johns Hopkins University professor known internationally as a medical illustrator and the creator of "Mr. Bones," died Tuesday of colon cancer at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Towson. The longtime Northwest Baltimore resident was 87.

"One of his strengths and his loves was living anatomy," said Gary P. Lees, chairman of the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine, where Mr. Schlossberg worked for nearly all his career.


Mr. Schlossberg's most famous work, The Johns Hopkins Atlas of Human Functional Anatomy -- an all-time best seller for the Johns Hopkins University Press -- is entering a fifth printing and has been translated into 11 languages.

Another well-known Schlossberg creation is Mr. Bones, an 18-inch, three-dimensional scale model of a human skeleton he created in 1987. He followed that up with a much larger Mr. Bones II.


In May, after more than 50 years at Hopkins, he was made an honorary doctor of humane letters.

At the ceremony, Edward D. Miller, dean of the School of Medicine, told Mr. Schlossberg: "Healing has always been an art. You are an artist who heals."

He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991 from the Association of Medical Illustrators. A scholarship for students in his department was established in his name this year.

In a 1997 interview, Mr. Schlossberg said he favored functional over static anatomy.

"I go in an operating room with a pad, 8-by-10, and I sketch," he said.

Mr. Lees had taught a course with Mr. Schlossberg in anatomical sketching since the 1970s but had to go it alone this fall when his colleague became ill.

Born in East Baltimore in 1912, Mr. Schlossberg graduated from City College and studied at Maryland Institute, College of Art. While at the Institute, he studied the work of Max Broedel, who in 1911 established the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine at Hopkins, the world's first.

He sought out Mr. Broedel, who became his mentor, and worked and studied under him along with great doctors of the era.


"If Mr. Broedel was the father of modern medical illustration, Leon would be the dean of today's medical illustrators, because of his wide range of knowledge and long tenure in depicting surgery and anatomy," said Mr. Lees.

Mr. Schlossberg served in the Navy from 1942 to 1946 at Bethesda Naval Hospital, where he and a dentist used art and acrylics to create a plastic eye for a sailor.

"You couldn't get anything like it then, so he and a dentist developed it together," said his wife of 56 years, the former Jean Goodman.

He enjoyed power boating and was a member of the congregation of Oheb Shalom.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Sol Levinson & Bros., 8900 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Schlossberg is survived by a daughter, Linda Rothleder of Silver Spring; a son, Richard Schlossberg of Baltimore; and five grandchildren.