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Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Library -- New Orleans
Alferez Frieze Returns Home
One of the highlights of the new Library Commons is the Enrique Alferez frieze featured in the Cafe area. It is entitled the "Conquest of Yellow Fever" and was completed in 1931. It originally hung in the original Medical School building at 1542 Tulane Avenue. The frieze has lived through several travails during its 78 years:
Sometime in the 1950s it was accidentally painted green when the walls were painted.
In 1987 it was removed from the wall in the Medical School building; the ceiling was to be lowered and the frieze would have been hidden from sight.
Because the Library's former director, Judith Caruthers was instrumental in saving the frieze in 1987, it was moved to the new Resource Center building in 1989.
The city of New Orleans named November 8, 1996 Judith Caruthers Day in honor of her efforts to save the frieze.
The frieze was crated and carried down the fire stairs and sent to a conservator for restoration in March of 1999. It was estimated that it weighed about 600 pounds at that time.
In December 2008, the frieze was mounted to the specially prepared wall of the Library Commons cafe area, restored to its former beauty.
The center of the frieze depicts the four scientists who conquered yellow fever, Walter Reed, Aristides Agramonte, Jesse Lazear, and James Carroll all members of the US Army Yellow Fever Commission in Cuba who confirmed that Yellow Fever was transmitted by mosquitos and not by direct human contact, opening the door for a cure.
-- Jennifer Lloyd (link removed)