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Alzheimer's Disease: Unskilled Vulgarity Decays Into Stunning Artistic Genius

E. S. Wright, MD
JAMA. 1988;259(10):1495. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720100017012.
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To the Editor.  —The article entitled "Probable Alzheimer's Disease in an Artist" by Drs Cummings and Zarit1 in the Nov 20, 1987, issue of JAMA was one of the funniest articles I have ever read. The humor was all the more hilarious because it was unintentional and it entirely escaped the authors. They show a picture painted by the artist before the onset of Alzheimer's disease (Fig 1) that is a nice little picture, quite photographic in content and worth about $75. Figure 2 in the article shows a stunning painting done after the artist acquired Alzheimer's disease! It looks like a Van Gogh and is typical of Impressionism. I would like to buy it.This would lead one to reason by induction that crazy artists are better than sane ones, and that is often true.


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