The Clews Foundation was created in 1951 by Marie Clews in memory of her husband. Marie Clews died in 1959, and their Foundation still supports the chateau, to foster international and interdisciplinary exchange, and as a museum of the couples' art and creativity. Many of Henry Clews' highly prized sculptures can still be seen at La Napoule, and their quality and eccentricity are well demonstrated in Venneman's crisp images (2).
THE GROWTH OF NEURO-OPHTHALMOLOGY
Physicians and scientists in the 17th and 18th centuries were interested in properties of light and in the nature of vision, but the 19th century saw an explosion in knowledge that led to the development of compound lenses and the invention of the ophthalmoscope by Helmholtz in 1851.
In the late 19th century, American neuro-ophthalmology stood on the shoulders of European neurologists and ophthalmologists. Then in the 20th century, many full-time American neuro-ophthalmologists devoted their time to clinical practice, teaching, and publishing. They trained interested students from America, Europe, and eventually the rest of the world. The leaders of this movement included Frank B. Walsh at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, David C. Cogan in Boston, and William F. Hoyt at the University of California, San Francisco. The group in Miami led by J. Lawton Smith became known for their skill, their enthusiasm, and their vigorous sense of humor. The neuro-ophthalmologists trained at these institutions introduced neuro-ophthalmology as a recognized subspecialty of both neurology and ophthalmology.
Organizing the meeting at La Napoule in 1975 saw extensive transatlantic correspondence about participants and the inclusion of neurologists, neurosurgeons, and radiologists. The number of attendees was limited to 50 (Fig. 5), the registration fee was $70, and the joint presidents were Tom Hedges and Freddie Huber.
FRANK B. WALSH
The Guest of Honor was Frank B. Walsh who was brought by his previous fellow, Adolphe Neetens, from Belgium to the south of France by car. Dr Walsh made the trip from Baltimore on the condition that he could arrange to visit the grave of his son, who was killed in Holland in the Second World War. Frank B. Walsh was a delightful avuncular Canadian, who trained in Manitoba and after 7 years in general practice, and at the age of 35, began a residency in ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital with Dr Wilmer. Progressing to the Consultant Staff, he joined his brilliant and energetic colleagues in neurosurgery, Walter Dandy, and in pediatric neurology, Frank Ford.
Frank B. Walsh produced the first edition of his classic textbook, "Clinical Neuro-Ophthalmology," in 1947. It was this book (enlarged later by his students Hoyt and then Miller, and then Nancy Newman, in 1998, to five volumes and almost 6,000 pages) that showed the world how much was included in this subspecialty. It was this pioneering book, combined with his teaching and his charisma, that earned Walsh the approbation of colleagues and the mantle of “Doyen of Neuro-Ophthalmology.”
The first meeting of what was to become the International Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (INOS) was held in 1976 in the hall of the Chateau de la Napoule, surrounded by Clews' sculptures. The moderators of the various sessions were:
- Frank B. Walsh (United States) and Alfred Huber (Switzerland)
- Thomas R. Hedges (United States) and Adolphe Neetens (Belgium)
- Michael Sanders (United Kingdom) and Guy Offret (France)
- Mark Mishkin (United States) and Arno Nover (Germany)
- Melvin Alper (United States) and Stan Thompson (United States)
- Paul Bregeat (France) and Noble David (United States)
- Fred Simeone (United States) and Donald Smith (United States)
- L. Guillaumat (France) and Guntram Kommerell (Germany)
- Joel Glaser (United States) and Lars Frisen (Sweden)
- Dieter Schmidt (Germany) and Henry Van Dyke (United States)
- Trevor Kirkham (United Kingdom) and Nancy Newman (United States).
The majority of papers at the meeting were by ophthalmologists, though four were by neurosurgeons and two each by neurologists, pediatric ophthalmologists, and neuropathologists. Frank B. Walsh gave a paper on his experiences with the meningiomas of childhood, and the main clinical theme was the advent of computed tomography with presentations by Alper, Bregeat, Moseley, Sanders, and Trokel. Gastronomic standards for future meetings were set at the highest possible level by the generosity of the Mayor of La Napoule who took us to a 2-star Michelin restaurant, called "Oasis." Pink champagne was followed by 6 delicate courses.
The first Council Meeting established the “International Neuro-Ophthalmology Society,” elected officers, and laid down the principle that the incoming President would organize the subsequent meeting and that costs would be kept to a minimum. The incoming president was Mel Alper from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, with the intention of holding the next meeting at an American location.
The Council decided that in order to attract new material, meetings of the society should be held biennially, with venues alternating between the United States and Europe. After 10 years, a meeting was held in Hakone, Japan, under the stewardship of Satoshi Ishikawa in response to the great interest in neuro-ophthalmology in that country. Combined meetings with other societies first occurred in 1980 when David Knox brought the Frank B. Walsh Society to the meeting in Valbella under the presidency of Freddie Huber.
In 1988, Bob Hepler and Stan Thompson staged a combined meeting of all groups interested in neuro-ophthalmology. At this meeting, INOS, the International Perimetric Society, the Clinical Eye Movement Society, the Rocky Mountain Neuro-Ophthalmology Society, and the Frank B. Walsh Society all met in Vancouver, Canada. This was a great success, demonstrating the breadth of neuro-ophthalmology, but some smaller societies did feel a bit marginalized.
All INOS presidents have been ophthalmologists, with the exception of two neurologists, Michael Halmagyi from Australia and James Sharpe from Canada. The presidents realized the extra organizational burden involved in setting up a “one-off” meeting. Only two people have organized multiple meetings: Freddie Huber (1976, 1980) and Neil Miller (1982, 1992, 2008).
Guests of Honor have included Frank B. Walsh (1976), David Cogan (1982), and William F. Hoyt (1990). INOS meetings subsequently have taken place every two years and spread over most parts of the globe (Table 1). Those countries interested in neuro-ophthalmology have received full support of the international community. And that community owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to the visionary efforts of Tom Hedges and Alfred Huber.
© 2013 by North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society
2. “Henry Clews Sculpture,” photos by W. Venneman, a 12×15 in soft cover (no date) published by E. Defossés-Néogravures, Paris.