A portrait artist draws while on LSD... for science! (1950s)


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Faulty experiment design. As there was no control artist drawing portraits of the doctor, we can’t know for sure that the doctor was not in fact changing his appearance radically throughout the course of the experiment.


As both an artist and someone who took a fair amount of LSD during the late sixties, I find some of these drawings suspect – as if the doctor were suggesting the more extreme distortions.


I remember seeing these in a psychology textbook and I wondered, did the subject and doctor just sit there for eight hours? I’d start drawing crazy pictures after about half an hour just to relieve the boredom.



Exactly. The fucking last thing you want to be doing whilst tripping balls is to sit in an office drawing the portrait of some boring old doctor who keeps asking you how you feel now. And now? How about now?


I must admit, from my experience as an artist and herbalist, it seems to follow a more canabinoid pattern to me. And therefore I think more studies should be done.


Count me in.


Apparently the degree of enhancement depends on what you do. If it’s art, you recapitulate the abstract impressionist and cubist eras.

If it’s baseball,


I wonder if the artist felt compelled to call President Carter.


What distortions? The medic was making faces.

The part that worries me is “first” dose. How much are they not telling us?


This article is a little toe in the vast ocean of psychedelic research. Let’s hope a little article like this is yet another indicator that our culture could be embracing what a handful of important pioneers in the west have dedicated their life’s work to in the twentieth century – establishing the spiritual value of psychedelics to humanity (and figuring out that other cultures have had this going on for a long long time). Stanislov Grof is a personal favorite – psychiatrist who volunteered as a student to take LSD, dedicated the next 50 years of his life going up against western science and defending psychedelics as an important doorway to spirit health. LSD changed his life. Amazing person, brilliant thinker!


Went on a bug hunt for the original source. Didn’t really find it, but here is some extra info:

Notes taken on what was happening to the artist as these drawings were made (From OpenCulture article in 2013): http://www.openculture.com/2013/10/artist-draws-nine-portraits-on-lsd-during-1950s-research-experiment.html

Multiple believable claims that these were from a high school psychology textbook (From Gawker article in 2010): http://gawker.com/5662161/watch-what-happens-when-a-portrait-artist-takes-lsd




See, every time somebody proposes to do serious scientific research around substances like this, they have to ruin it with “far out” and “groovy.” It’s kind of like how people set up a marijuana dispensary for medical purposes only, and then go and call it “Cheech-n-Chong’s Hippie Head Shoppe.” This does not help the cause.


100ug does not seem like a lot of acid.


Great article.


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