Dr. Jeffrey Caren’s Renown Pharmaceutical Pen Collection on Display in New York City Museum

  • Posted on: Oct 19 2019
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Dr. Jeffrey F. Caren, a cardiologist in Los Angeles, created a display of the hundreds of pens given to him by the drug industry. J Emilio Flores for The New York Times

Dr. Jeffrey Caren has received national attention in the past decade for his famous and unrivaled pharmaceutical company brand pen collection. His greater than 1200 pen collection started around the turn of the century when it was common practice for pharmaceutical companies to give away free pens and other branded items to physicians to help encourage sales for their products.

Ultimately hundreds of pens were on permanent exhibit in our offices in a transparent case. It became both a piece of art as well as a social statement. In 2009, under pressure from many, the pharmaceutical industry self-imposed a “voluntary” ban on distributing the branded items to doctors. Over the years, Caren’s unusual collection has garnered national attention from major media outlets including The New York Times and ABC World News Tonight

In the summer of 2017, a portion of his collection was shipped to Oakland where it was showcased in a temporary exhibit at the Museum of Capitalism. An estimated 10,000 visitors beheld the mighty pen spectacle. And now, the Museum of Capitalism has a new exhibition in New York City from October 30 – December 11, 2019 at the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery at Parsons School of Design, the culmination of a yearlong residency of Museum curators at the Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies at The New School.

Read more about Dr. Caren’s pharmaceutical pen collection here

Posted in: Blog, Dr Caren, In the News

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