Thursday, February 5, 2009

art in hospitals

I just read an interesting article in the dec/jan 2009 issue of american craft magazine regarding placing art in hospitals. The article focused on Cleveland University Hospitals Case Medical Center and the work of the curator of the University Hospitals' art collection, Trudy Wiesenberger. What I found most interesting was the research she did before she began purchasing the work for the hospital. She set up focus groups made up of department heads, hospital staff and patients for each wing in the hospital and here are some of her findings:
  • overall, the work should be 'healing' and appeal to a wide variety of people and the 'level of craftsmanship in any work should be very high to reflect the quality of care in the hospital.'
  • cancer center-the work should contain humor and stay away from colors like chartreuse
  • surgery units-stay away from imagery with right angles and sharp edges, work instead should be made of soft materials like quilts and soft sculpture (yay!)
  • neonatal unit-stay away from nursery-style work (hmmm?) and because the babies in the incubators can't be handled, work that can be handled and is visually tactile is great (another plus for fibers and craft-yay again!)
  • lobbies-most work is commissioned and is fun, whimsical
  • children's hospital corridors-work purchased from national scholastic competitions
I've been interested in getting into public commissions and this article was very helpful to my understanding of public curating. Last, the curator mentions that she's looking for many new acquisitions for a new building project called 'Vision 2010'.....


  1. I'm a health care architect that has gotten peripherally involved in art purchases and I don't know what 1-5 mean. A focus group for art?? really?

    BTW, no nursery style work in NICUs because some of those babies won't get to go home. :-(

  2. yes, a focus group for art! her findings were interesting. sad about the babies, though.

  3. Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

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