This post was originally published on March 19, 2017
“The heart is a very, very resilient little muscle. It really is,” said Woody Allen’s character in Hannah and Her Sisters.
Heart: Anatomy, Function and Diseases (Dell, 1962) was part of a unique series of “Visual” titles brought to life by leading designers. Illustrated by George Giusti, the book is comprised of abstract and representational symbolic imagery that brings into view for the layman the power and importance of this “resilient little muscle.”
As Dell noted: “This launching of the international VISUAL series signals a new era in the world of books and ideas.” It goes beyond the conventional textbook, probing a theme of “universal interest through the eyes of a creative artist working in collaboration with an eminent authority”—in this case, Dr. Rudolf Hoffmann, M.D. It is a study of the structure, function and, yes, malfunctioning of the prime human organ.
The series was conceived and edited in Europe by Frédéric Ditis, with Heiri Steiner as artistic consultant. It lasted for four volumes, of which this was the last.