From the collection of Dr. and Mrs. Henry Gans
Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, Fine African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art, February 11, 1977, lot 45
Dr. Henry Gans died on June 29, 2017, two days before his 92nd birthday. Throughout he was positive and productive enjoying life, his mind always searching for knowledge and discovery. Henry Gans was born in 1925 in Zevenaar, the Netherlands and survived the Holocaust by working as a farm hand. After medical school in Holland where he received his MD and served briefly in the Dutch Army he published the first contemporary text on liver surgery,"Introduction to Hepatic Surgery" (Elsevier, 1955), reviewed and recognized as such by the Brit J. Surg, Proc Royal Soc Med, Armed Forces Med J, S.G.O., and many other medical publications. He received a D. Sc. Degree (cum laude) for this work from Nijmegan University in the Netherlands.
Trained in surgery at the Univ. of Minnesota, he obtained medical licenses to practice in Minnesota, New York, Illinois and Florida. As he continued his research he qualified for a Ph.D. degree from the Univ of Minnesota. He received a NIH Research Career Development Award after introducing in 1960 the first anti-fibrinolytic agents as lifesaving treatment for excessive bleeding associated with open heart surgery, a treatment that is still widely used today.
Moving subsequently to New York Hospital - Cornell Medical School where he, with the help of a colleague, Dr. Armand Cortese, performed in 1969 the world's two first split-liver transplantation. The first performed on May 9, 1969, was on a woman age 24, the second (in August 1969) was on an infant with biliary cirrhosis, using in both instances only half of the donor liver. In the infant the donor liver was obtained from a 6 year old boy.
In New York City he and his wife became ardent collectors of American art and Precolumbian art. In the late seventies he helped start a new school of clinical medicine at the Univ. of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign, before retiring as a professor of surgery, pathology and biochemistry after attending graduation of the third medical school class.