loved Dr. Metz. From 1928 to 1952 he was one of Chicago's foremost
surgeons, maintaining a private medical practice in that city.
For many years he was a member of the senior attending staff
of the Department of Surgery at Chicago's Wesley Memorial Hospital.
He was the personal physician of Chicago's famous Wrigley family;
surgeon in charge of the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field; chief
surgeon of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad;
and chief surgeon of the Western Division of the Pennsylvania
Apart from his private practice and his various surgical appointments,
he was associated with several educational institutions, including the
University of Illinois as assistant professor of surgery from 1919 to
1932, Rush Medical College as associate professor of surgery during the
following decade, and Northwestern University, where he held a similar
post from 1942 to 1952, retiring as associate professor emeritus.
1924, in association with Francis Hoben of the X-ray department of
the General Electric Co., Metz worked out a satisfactory combination
of barium with other ingredients for use in fluoroscopic examination
of the gastrointestinal tract, and the mixture, known as the barium
meal, was adopted universally. In 1929 Metz designed a medical examination
car for the Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific, with a floor
plan that included an X-ray fluoroscope and electric generator, an
office, and living quarters for a physician, a male secretary, a porter,
and a cook. The car was in service from 1930 to 1942, and the company's
15,000 Lines East operating employees were given periodic examinations
in the car.
Dr. Metz's accomplishments as both a surgeon and an inventor must have
given him the financial resources to begin his personal education in
the fine arts. His collecting seems to have been influenced by three
sources: his early education, his travels in France, and his safari adventures.
Judging from both his book collection and the period in which he was
educated, one may assume he had a thorough grounding in the classics:
Latin and Greek languages and philosophy were common features of a turn-of-the-century
education. This exposure to the classical world, combined with a Victorian
gentleman's fascination with scantily clad ladies, may account for Dr.
Metz's affinity for researching and collecting bronze casts of allegorical
also know he spent considerable time in France during World War I.
Did he go into Paris on leaves during the war? Inscriptions found on
engravings in the Metz collection by the French artist Louis Orr indicate
that Dr. Metz spent a lot of time in Paris at the artist's studio.
If so, he also may have befriended and then become a patron of many
minor French sculptors working in the 1920s.
safari and his ensuing interest in animals certainly influenced his
collecting, as well. He became a life member of the Field Museum of
Natural History, the Chicago Zoological Society, the Art Institute
of Chicago, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York
City. He might have begun his collection of Animalier bronzes with
the Bugatti Giraffes—purchased in Paris—and then met Carl
Akeley during Akeley's years in Chicago. The files in the collection
notes from Akeley that accompanied his purchases of Akeley bronzes.
He owned all of Akeley's books, along with an extensive library of
volumes covering African wildlife, safari photography, and African
Whatever the influence, it is obvious from his library that Dr. Metz
spent years educating himself in the fine arts. He enjoyed and lived
with his collections in his Chicago apartment and hoped that they would
decorate his suite at IU.
Photo captions, top to bottom: 1. Dr. Metz (far left) and a
group of friends (including Herman B Wells) gather in the living room of Dr.
Club apartment in Chicago 2. Dr. Metz in his medical examination
car, ca. 1930-1940
3. A genuine rhinoceros foot lined in copper is topped by a
collar of beaten
copper and a matching copper lid. The lid’s finial is a tiny (2 1/4 in.-long)
bronze sculpture of a standing rhinoceros. It is signed on the base "J L
Clark/Copyright 1927." 4. Two of a set of six Wedgwood
collector plates, each painted with a safari border and featuring a different
elephant, waterbuck, lion, warthog, giraffe. Marked on back: “Suid-Afrika/Nassionale
Kruger-Wildtuin/ Kruger National Park/Sponsored by McLaren, Campbell & Co.,
Johannesburg, South Africa/Wedgwood of Etruria & Barlaston, Made in England.” 5. A
bronze desk set of indeterminate date features a standing lion on a marble, with
a bronze blotter topped with a small lion finial. 6. Dr. Arthur
Metz surrounded by his collections, in his University Club apartment, Chicago,
taken in the 1950s