The Adrian E. Flatt, M. D. collection is about one man’s obsession. His medical specialty was hand surgery, so Dr. Flatt collected hands. In the last century he must have prevailed on famous people to cast their hands in bronze. It’s a bit creepy to see, which is probably the reason why I learned about it on Atlas Obscura. It’s also free and fairly fascinating in a bizarre way. Prepare to see, for example, some hand abnormalities. It’s one of those places that you don’t expect to like but it casts a spell. It’s just inside the door of a Baylor University Medical Center at 3500 Gaston Street in Dallas, TX. For now there is plenty of parking meter parking up and down Gaston close to this center.
Dr. Flatt began his obsessive bronze hand collection by casting patients’ hands before surgery, which led to requests to sculpt the hands of other surgeons. He also began collecting objects related to human hands, like an unusual British 5-hand toast rack and several Brazilian good luck charms shaped into hands. The hands below were painter Andrew Wyeth’s. Dr Flatt apparently contacted and befriended athletes, cartoonists, anyone who made a living using their hands. His collection grew to over 100 pairs of famous-at-the-time hands. It’s too bad that this collection stopped growing when Flatt either died or stopped collecting. Human hands are rather intriguing and have been the subject of many artistic efforts. It is said that the human hand is hard for artists to reproduce.
I can see the time coming when the professionals at this Baylor medical center conclude that their facility needs more room to treat virus sufferers and they decide to put this collection in storage. If you’re in Dallas before that happens, go and see this unique and very personal collection.