This photograph was taken on the occasion of Holmes’ retirement from teaching anatomy at Harvard and just after the opening of the school's new facility on Boylston Street. Some years later, Thomas Dwight recalled, “The scene was most impressive as the whole audience arose on his entrance. A member of the first class stepped forward, and in a few words, carefully prepared but rather tremulously delivered, presented a silver loving-cup as a gift of the class and expressed their regret at the separation. Dr. Holmes was so surprised and affected that for once his readiness failed him. He could but utter a few disconnected sentences of thanks, and say that lest his feelings should overcome him, it were better he should keep to the lecture he had written.” Photograph of Oliver Wendell Holmes (1804-1894) at his farewell address upon his retirement from Harvard Medical School
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Reproduced from an original donated by Dr. L. Vernon Briggs to the Library of Harvard Medical School