Tag Archives: conference

Public Art in Hospitals

TransCultural Exchange International Conference

Tamar Tembeck is presenting a paper on “Public Art in Hospitals” in a panel on “Artists and Medicine” at the 2018 edition of the TransCultural Exchange International Conference, February 22-24, 2018, in Quebec City.

Abstract: With the recent inauguration of two new superhospitals in Montreal (McGill University Healthcare Centre in 2015 and Phase II of the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal in 2017), a significant concentration of Quebec’s public art is now in our healthcare establishments. Thanks to a provincial regulation requiring that artworks be commissioned for major new public buildings and refurbishment projects, these two superhospitals boast a total of 25 new works by Quebec artists, including a sound installation as well as a process-based work. Referencing examples of public hospital art from Europe and North America over the past century, this presentation will address current practices as well as changing expectations towards public art in hospitals.

L’hôpital comme espace public culturel

Forum national Le Pouvoir des Arts de la Fondation Michaëlle Jean

Marie Lavorel et Tamar Tembeck participent à l’édition 2018 du Forum national Le Pouvoir des Arts sous le thème : «Les arts, des armes pour la paix» qui aura lieu du 16 au 18 février 2018 au Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal.

C’est sous l’angle de l’art comme vecteur d’engagement social en milieux de soins qu’elles y présentent des résultats de leurs recherches sur l’art hospitalier dans une communication intitulée «L’hôpital comme espace public culturel: l’art, vecteur de liens».

Beyond Therapy: Situating Art and Design in Healthcare Contexts

Panel at Association of Art Historians conference, Loughborough, UK, April 6-8 2017

Chairs: Tamar Tembeck (McGill University) and Mary Hunter (McGill University)

In Europe and North America, greater attention is being paid to the built environment in medical spaces. ‘Healthy design’ initiatives are increasingly being integrated into hospital planning, in a vision that is coherent with the WHO’s definition of health, according to which ‘mental and social well-being’ are considered in addition to ‘the absence of disease or infirmity’. Government percentage-for-art schemes and public art funding policies count amongst the initiatives that have allowed for the integration of art in hospital architecture, the commissioning of in situ works, and the establishment of artists’ residences in medical environments.

Existing studies on art and design in healthcare contexts overwhelmingly focus on accumulating evidence of their beneficial impacts on patients’ recovery and general well-being. Since the birth of hospitals in the Middle Ages, however, the integration of art has played a variety of other roles in medical spaces, ranging from providing contemplative touchstones for patients, staff, and visitors, to improving the institution’s overall image in the public eye.

In this session, historians of art, architecture and design, as well as cultural practitioners, programmers and policymakers, will reflect upon, critique and question the forms and functions of contemporary and historical art and design practices in healthcare environments (hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, etc.). We will investigate how and why art and design practices are deployed outside of an explicitly therapeutic context (e.g., in art therapy).


Jackson Davidow (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Freedom as a Skill: Occupational Therapy and American Modernism.

David Theodore (School of Architecture, McGill University), Northwick Park Hospital: Healthcare Architecture as Art.

Lindsay Blair (University of the Highlands and Islands), Opportunities for Dialogue: Health, Architecture and the Arts.

Judy Rollins (Georgetown University School of Medicine), Art with Intent: An International Study of Purpose-built Artwork in Hospitals.

Jayne Lloyd (Paintings in Hospitals), From the Wallace Collection to the GP’s Waiting Room: Contemporary Art in Historic Houses and Primary Care Sites.