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Philadelphia Inquirer | At 87, This Philly Physician to Spinal Cord Injury Patients Finds Hope in Sculpting

John Ditunno, a doctor at Thomas Jefferson University, discovered his love of sculpture on a trip to Italy about 24 years ago. Though he recently retired after 50 years of teaching, he hasn't stopped sculpting. Alongside 3 other doctors, he spends many of his Saturday mornings in a Continuing Education sculpture class at PAFA:

Ditunno finds it relaxing to let the artistic side of his brain take over. He had started this piece in the fall, and it would be months before it was finished. Sculpture is an exercise in patience, forethought, and precision.

After three hours of work, the graceful curves of a hand and wrist were more apparent. It was satisfying for a doctor who long ago learned to find hope in small improvements.

“You get an exhilaration, I guess a kick, out of seeing this figure emerge out of stone,” Ditunno said. ”You’re creating.”

Last Updated
February 11, 2020 - 10:04 AM

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.