Tag Archives: Hospital art

La Résonance des corps

Le duo d’artistes montréalais Béchard-Hudon présente la documentation vidéo de leur installation sonore La Résonance des corps au Centre Hospitalier de l’Unversité de Montréal (CHUM). Créée grâce à la politique d’intégration des arts à l’architecture et l’environnement, l’oeuvre est installée de manière permanente  dans le clocher patrimonial de l’Église St-Sauveur à l’angle des rues Viger et St-Denis à Montréal.

Nosocomial (An)aesthetics

Research assistant Gina Page and principal investigator Tamar Tembeck are presenting elements from the Encountering Art in Hospitals research project for a workshop at the University of Bristol, April 12-13, 2018, titled Towards a Sensory History of the Modern Hospital.

Gina is presenting her research into the influence of evidence-based design on hospital art, and will propose novel mechanisms by which art can contribute to the healing environment.

Tamar’s presentation on “Nosocomial (An)aesthetics” will address some of the paradoxes of contemporary hospital art, which reflect our ambiguous expectations towards the kinds of sensory experiences we ultimately seek from art in healthcare spaces.

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.

What’s art doing in hospitals?

Hospital art exhibition at the Danish KØS Museum of Art in Public Spaces

What Does Art do at Hospitals? KOS Museum catalogue, exhibition, and seminar

Anyone with an interest in hospital art should take a look at the catalogue for the remarkable research-based exhibition, “What Does Art do at Hospitals?”, running until April 1, 2018 at the Danish KØS Museum of art in public spaces.

With six new superhospitals currently being built or refurbished in Denmark, to the tune of 5.6 billion euros, hospital art is currently in high demand. KØS curator Lene Bøgh Rønberg and her team joined forces with sociologist Annete Stenslund to try and understand some of the rationales that govern existing principles and practices of hospital art.

Structuring the exhibition around 5 themes – colours, views of nature, travel and memory, identification and participation, and life and death – and showcasing examples of local as well as international hospital art projects, the team investigates the place and impact of art in hospitals, well beyond its purported role in supporting a healing processes. Through approximately 600 interviews conducted in Denmark, the project also investigates how specific art projects are being received by a range of hospital users (patients, staff, and visitors).

Art in the Superhospital

From Queen Victoria to Sausage Pants: Art in the Superhospital

Article by Tamar Tembeck and Mary Hunter, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, vol. 190, issue 1, 8 January 2018. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.170721

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Michael Farnan, Sausage Pants, 2005. Image courtesy of the artist. www.michaelfarnan.ca

Abstract: In this article we argue that purpose-driven art is not only way to communicate a sense of well-being to the various populations that inhabit hospitals. By focusing on two artworks from the Royal Victoria Hospital’s collection — the monumental nineteenth-century marble sculpture of Queen Victoria and the contemporary painting Sausage Pants by Michael Farnan — we explore how art that is seemingly dysfunctional can sometimes bring the best medicine.

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.