The Akiko Kobayashi Bowers Museum of Medical Artifacts
In addition to its continuing use as a functioning medical building, Davidge Hall is recognized for housing one of the finest medical museums in the country. Visitors can view a variety of portraits, busts, books and artifacts dating back to the earliest days of organized medicine in the new Republic. The collection, owned by the Medical Alumni Association, is named in honor of Akikio Kobayashi Bowers, the widow of Dr. John Z. Bowers, class of 1938.
Born in Tokyo, Akiko Kobayashi’s upbringing was East and West entwined. She graduated with honors from Kobe College, one of Japan’s oldest and most prestigious universities, founded in 1873 by two American women missionaries. Encouraged by her parents to continue her education, she came to America in 1961 on a scholarship to study business administration as a graduate student at New York University. She became the first women to work with the Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, directed protocol and served as liaison between the Japanese government and the U.N. Mrs. Bowers was an accomplished harpist and classic traditional dancer who donated precious heirlooms to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to enhance the understanding of Japanese culture and the history of art. In addition to setting up an endowed fund for the Association’s museum, Mrs. Bowers established the dean’s chair at the medical school, now bearing the names of her husband and herself.