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New Exhibit featuring Dr. Bertner on Display at the TMC Library

Bertner Exhibit at TMC Library

By Matt Richardson, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

The McGovern Historical Center is proud to announce the opening of a new exhibit at the TMC Library. This exhibit celebrates the life and work of one of the Texas Medical Center’s founders and strongest champions, Dr. Ernst Bertner.

Presented in two sections, the exhibit uses materials from the archives to highlight both Dr. Bertner’s professional contributions and his personal life.

Dr. Bertner’s collection offers a tour through the formative years of the TMC. The “professional” half of the exhibit shows him receiving the deed to the property at the TMC Dedicatory Dinner, presiding over the Dedication of the M.D. Anderson Hospital for Cancer Research, and attending the laying of the cornerstone for Methodist Hospital, all within a span of six years. The exhibit tells this story through a mixture of photographs, event programs, and newspaper clippings.

On the “personal” side, the exhibit showcases Dr. Bertner’s service in World War I, as well as his courtship and marriage to Julia Williams Bertner. Included here are letters from Dr. Bertner’s family, as well as photographs showing the Bertners at leisure. In fact, Julia Bertner (later Naylor) deserves no small portion of credit for this exhibit—not only was she by Dr. Bertner’s side through this exciting period, but she also donated much of this material to the archives!

Putting together the exhibit also provided an opportunity to scan materials from Dr. Bertner’s archival collection. There are nearly fifty photographs and a dozen documents newly available online—think of it as “bonus material” to compliment the exhibit. That’s in addition to the two phonograph recordings of Dr. Bertner’s voice we blogged about previously.

Since the Research Center is located a few miles down the road from the main TMC Library, exhibits like this one provide an opportunity for the archives to connect to students and other visitors there. We hope you have a chance to visit and check it out!

 

The first case in the exhibit features archival materials highlighting Dr. Bertner's professional contributions to the Texas Medical Center.
The first case in the exhibit features archival materials highlighting Dr. Bertner’s professional contributions to the Texas Medical Center.
 

The second case in the exhibit features documents and photographs illustrating Dr. Bertner's personal life.
The second case in the exhibit features documents and photographs illustrating Dr. Bertner’s personal life.
 

E. W. Bertner, Leland Anderson, and Bishop Quinn at the TMC Dedicatory Dinner
E. W. Bertner (left), President of the Texas Medical Center, receives the deed to the TMC property from Leland Anderson (center), accompanied by Bishop Clinton S. Quinn at the Texas Medical Center Dedication Dinner, February 28, 1946. MS 002 E. W. Bertner papers MS002-033, McGovern Historical Center.
 

Program for the Dedication for the MD Anderson Hospital, February 17, 1944
As Acting Director of the M. D. Anderson Hospital, Dr. Bertner presided over the Afternoon Session of the Dedication of the M. D. Anderson Hospital for Cancer Research. Speakers included Governor Coke Stevenson, John H. Bickett, Jr.; Colonel W. B. Bates; Homer Rainey, Ph.D.; and Hines Baker. Scientific presentations were given by Chauncey D. Leake, Ph.D.; Frank E. Adair, M.D., and others. February 17, 1944. MS 002 E. W. Bertner papers, box 4, folder 17, McGovern Historical Center.
 

Dedication of Methodist Hospital
A crowd at the cornerstone laying of Methodist Hospital. Dr. Bertner is seated in the car next to the stage. A handwritten note on another photograph reads, “dedication of Methodist Hospital– Bill in car on the side. Too ill to get out.” However, the accompanying Houston Press article reports the Bertner spoke at the ceremony. 1950. MS 002 E. W. Bertner papers, MS002-044, McGovern Historical Center.
 

Lt. E. W. Bertner in military uniform outside a building, possibly in Europe, approximately 1917-1919
Lt. E. W. Bertner in military uniform outside a building, possibly in Europe, approximately 1917-1919. MS 002 E. W. Bertner papers, MS002-088, McGovern Historical Center.
 

E. W. Bertner and Julia Bertner posing outdoors, undated
E. W. Bertner and Julia Bertner posing outdoors, undated. MS 002 E. W. Bertner papers MS002-118, McGovern Historical Center.
 

Telegram to E. W. Bertner from his family congratulating him on the establishment of the Texas Medical Center, February 23, 1946.
Telegram to E. W. Bertner from his family congratulating him on the establishment of the Texas Medical Center, February 23, 1946. MS 002 E. W. Bertner papers box 1, folder 25, McGovern Historical Center.
 
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