View the Dickie Orpen drawings

4th March 2010


What are the Orpen drawings?

During the Second World War, Rainsford Mowlem and John Barron with others were working in the Plastic and Jaw Centre at Hill End, St Albans. They had with them an artist, a lady called Dickie (Diana) Orpen who was the daughter of the famous artist Sir William Orpen. She was in the operating room from dawn to dusk watching the two tables and recording many of the operations. Her beautiful artwork in pencil and pen amounting to 2700 drawings are part of the Antony Wallace Archive of BAPRAS. They have been digitised, thanks to a grant from BAPRAS and the work of Zoe Brealy who was an assistant curator in the Hunterian Museum. They have been annotated by BAPRAS' Honorary Archivist Brian Morgan and the artist Jeanne Woodcraft.

To view this wonderful archive log onto the Royal College of Surgeons of England Surgicat search then go to search -simple search - deselect Archive - then in the top box - free search put your interest for instance ‘cleft lip' or ‘cross leg flap and in the bottom of the three boxes -reference number- put BAPRAS and you will have a wealth of fascinating material showing what Rainsford Mowlem and John Barron were doing in the 1940s


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