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 Gerald P. (Jerry) Hodge  (1920 - 2012)

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Lived/Active: Michigan/Louisiana      Known for: science and medical illustration, trompe l'oeil still life painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following obituary is from the website of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators:

In Memoriam: Gerald P. Hodge
December 3, 1920 - June 7, 2012
by Karen Ackoff, School of the Arts, Univ. of Indiana South Bend

Gerald P. "Jerry" Hodge, scientific and medical illustrator, fine artist and educator, passed away on June 7th 2012.

As a young man, Jerry studied at the University of Colorado, where he earned a fine arts degree. He then served in the Army in World War II, and participated in the invasion of Okinawa. After his military service, he studied under Ranice Crosby at John Hopkins University, and received a certification of medical illustration in 1949.

Jerry began his career as a medical illustrator at the Sugarbaker Cancer Clinic in Missouri. He then became professor and director of the medical illustration department at Louisiana State University. In 1955, he joined the University of Michigan, where he established a graduate program in medical and biological illustration (1964). He remained there until his retirement.
Jerry touched the lives of many as a consummate artist, teacher and mentor. As an artist, he continuously experimented with technique, mingling techniques perfectly. He is particularly well known for his pen and ink "eyelashing" technique, produced with a flexible pen nib that allows for thick and thin lines.

Jerry received many awards through the years, including several Russell Drake Awards, Ralph Sweet Awards, Max Brodel Awards, Muriel McLatchie Miller Awards, , the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from the University of Michigan, Association of Medical Illustrators Lifetime Achievement Award, and numerous other awards. He will be posthumously receiving the Special Service Award from the GNSI in at the Guild Conference. July 2012.

In his retirement, Jerry taught many workshops and became one of seven members of the Trompe L'Oeil Society of Artists. Of his trompe l'oeil work, Jerry wrote:?"Teaching in the scientific art field at the University of Michigan required me to be versatile in many scientific art techniques such as gouache, alkyd, acrylic, colored pencil, carbon dust, silver point, and pen and ink, and most of these techniques I use in my current trompe l'oeil paintings. My paintings are carefully designed, and I try and go beyond photographic appearances by adding contrast, adding to or eliminating details, making shadows more important, and by slightly changing the shapes and colors of my subject matter in order to enhance the design and quality of my paintings."

Jerry was kind, generous with his knowledge, and always had a sparkle of humor in his eye. He encouraged and inspired his students to aspire to create work that communicated information effectively and beautifully. Jerry's illustrations show a confident hand, masterful detail, and a strong aesthetic sense.

He was respected and admired and will be greatly missed.

Online Source:

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Referred to by some persons as the Dean of Trompe l'Oeil Painters in the United States today, Gerald Hodge is Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of Michigan.  He teaches at the Smithsonian Institution and gives numerous workshops on trompe l'oeil painting including at the Scottsdale Artists School.

"Eleanor Ettinger Gallery Presents the Trompe L'oeil Society of Artists.  Following is the press release of that exhibition:

WHO Trompe L'oeil Society of Artists:
WHAT paintings in oil on panel, canvas and paper
WHEN March 1 - 28, 2002
Opening Reception Friday March 1, 5-7 PM, Santa Fe

We are very pleased to announce the opening of an exhibit of America's most accomplished trompe l'oeil artists. The Trompe L'oeil Society of Artists was formed to showcase the paintings of contemporary masters of the genre. The exhibit will feature paintings by its members: Larry Charles, Donald Clapper, Eric Conklin, Gerald Hodge, Michael Molnar, Gayle B. Tate, and Gregory West.

The art form of trompe l'oeil distinguishes itself from other forms of realist painting by its intent to deceive. With the use of perfect perspective and clearly observed light, described with realistic colors, the 'trick' is to make the onlooker believe that a surface is not flat, or that a space exists where there is no space. Translated from the French, trompe l'oeil means "trick the eye". These seven painters have taken the art form to its extreme in excellence and accomplishment. Still life subject matter includes hyper-realistic images of taped paper objects, currencies, chalkboards, stamps, and old photographs - perfect three dimensional images to the eye and remarkable two dimensional realities to the touch.

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