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William Rush Dunton, Jr., scrapbook

 Collection
Identifier: PIMS-0092
William Rush Dunton, Jr., was an occupational therapist and psychiatrist who was an instructor for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1903 to 1942. Dunton was also a music lover and amateur percussionist who performed in several ensembles in the Baltimore area, including the Doctors’ Orchestra of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, the Clifton Orchestra, and the Johns Hopkins Orchestra. In addition, he collected materials related to musical activities in Baltimore, particularly events related to his interests in music and medicine. The collection contains an oversize scrapbook assembled by Dunton from 1912 to 1936 about Baltimore musical ensembles that he participated in or followed. Also included in the collection is a manuscript by Dunton about the history of the Doctors’ Orchestra and his involvement with it.

Dates

  • 1912 - 1936

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for use at the Arthur Friedheim Library Archives of the Peabody Institute. Contact peabodyarchives@lists.jhu.edu for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or perform materials in this collection must be submitted in writing to the archivist of the Arthur Friedheim Library.

Extent

0.47 Cubic Feet (1 large flat box)

Biographical / Historical

William Rush Dunton, Jr., was an occupational therapist and psychiatrist who was an instructor for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1903 to 1942. Dunton was also a music lover and amateur percussionist who performed in several ensembles in the Baltimore area, including the Doctors’ Orchestra of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, the Clifton Orchestra, and the Johns Hopkins Orchestra. In addition, he collected materials related to musical activities in Baltimore, particularly events related to his interests in music and medicine.

The Doctors' Orchestra of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland was founded in 1912 by Dr. Charles F. Nolen. It held its first performance in November 1912 on a steamer heading for an annual meeting of the association in Cambridge, Maryland. The group was composed of approximately 20 members, primarily doctors, some of whom were not affiliated with the faculty. Dunton played percussion in the ensemble. In 1913 it gave a series of “musicales” to benefit the faculty’s medical library building and its book and journal club. In 1914 the Doctors’ Orchestra had a dispute with the faculty over the use of rehearsal space and ceased to be formally associated with the faculty. It continued to perform at various venues in Baltimore, including for patients at Spring Grove Hospital, until it disbanded in 1917 because of the United States’ entry into the First World War.

During this period, a group of faculty members from the Peabody Institute formed the Florestan Club, which met for informal recitals and readings of new music. This club helped found the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which had its debut in 1916 under the baton of Gustav Strube.

In January 1919, the Johns Hopkins Musical Association was founded, with Edwin Litchfield Turnbull its first president. Its first ensemble, the Johns Hopkins Orchestra, which Dunton participated in, was open to university faculty and students as well as outside musicians, and had 90 members within three years. The orchestra was conducted by Peabody Conservatory faculty member Charles H. Bochau from its founding until 1927, when he was replaced by Bart Wirtz, another Peabody professor. Beginning in 1920, the orchestra regularly held free concerts for patients and staff of Baltimore hospitals, including the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital. In 1922 the ensemble premiered the Violin Concerto of Edwin Grasse, a blind musician who performed the soloist’s part. Dunton remained a regular percussionist for the Johns Hopkins Orchestra throughout the 1920s and was a trustee of the organization by 1930.
Dunton was born in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Haverford College in 1889 with a B.S. and an M.A. the following year. In 1893 Dunton received an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He trained at various hospitals in the Philadelphia area and spent six weeks on Howard Kelly's service at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Moving to Baltimore in 1895, he became the assistant physician at the Sheppard Asylum where he developed an interest in occupational therapy for the mentally ill. He wrote many books and journal articles on the topic of occupational therapy and was involved in the founding of the society for occupational therapy. In 1901 he was appointed Clinical Assistant in the Department of Clinical Neurology, Johns Hopkins Hospital Outpatient Dispensary and assistant in psychiatry Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1903. Dunton was promoted to instructor in psychiatry in 1906, a position he retained until resigning in 1942. Leaving the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital in 1924, Dunton became the medical director of the Harlem Lodge (the Richard Gundry Home) until 1939. He served another two years at The Laurel Sanitarium before retiring. Dunton published on a variety of subjects including recreational therapy, epilepsy and mental health, quilting, and hooked rugs. In 1922 he was named editor of the Archives of Occupational Thearpy and also served as an associate editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry. He was involved in the founding of many organizations including the Maryland Psychiatric Society and the Baltimore County Medical Association. In 1958, Dunton was honored by the American Occupational Therapy Association with their merit award for his contributions to understanding the benefits of occupational therapy for mentally ill patients.

Scope and Contents

The collection contains an oversize scrapbook assembled by William Rush Dunton, Jr., from 1912 to 1936 about Baltimore musical ensembles that he participated in or followed, including the Doctors’ Orchestra of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, the Johns Hopkins Orchestra, the Clifton Orchestra, the Florestan Club, and the Haydn Symphony Orchestra. Materials include concert programs, postcards announcing rehearsals and events, and press clippings. Some handwritten correspondence from Edwin Litchfield Turnbull is also included. Several complete issues of The Musical Enthusiast from 1918 to 1920 contain information about musical life in Baltimore during the period. The scrapbook contains additional clippings related to Dunton’s interests in music and medicine, particularly regarding innovative uses of music as therapy. Also included in the collection is a manuscript by Dunton about the history of the Doctors’ Orchestra and his involvement with it.

Arrangement

Some pages that were detached from the original binding were reinserted by the archivist based on the original thematic and chronological order of the scrapbook.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Due to the brittleness of the scrapbook and the adhesives attached to the materials, access to certain items may be limited at the discretion of the archivist.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

There is no known acquisition information for this collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Matt Testa in 2018.

Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Archives Repository

Contact:
Peabody Institute
1 E. Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore MD 21202 USA