Category Archives: Hospital art

2 articles parus dans ARQ

Deux articles issus de notre projet de recherche sur l’art hospitalier dans le contexte des méga-hôpitaux montréalais sont parus dans le numéro 189 de la revue ARQ: Architecture & Design Québec ayant pour thème “Hôpitaux,” sous la direction de notre co-chercheur David Theodore:

  • Tamar Tembeck & Marie Lavorel, “L’art public en milieu hospitalier,” ARQ: Architecture & Design Québec 189 (déc. 2019): 8-11.
  • Tamar Tembeck & David Theodore, “Contemporary Art and the Architecture of the CHUM: An Interview with Andrew King,” ARQ: Architecture & Design Québec 189 (Dec. 2019): 14-17.

L’ARQ est distibué aux architectes membres de l’OAQ, ainsi qu’aux architectes paysagistes membre de l’AAPQ.

L’Art hospitalier : Médiations d’hospitalités au sein de l’espace de soins

Article de Tamar Tembeck et Marie Lavorel, paru dans les Cahiers thématiques du LACTH no 18: Hospitalité(s). Espace(s) de soin, de tension et de présence, sous la direction de Céline Barrère et Catherine Grout. Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme, nov. 2018, p. 99-111.

Couverture de la publication Hospitalité(s). Espace(s) de soin, de tension et de présence

Résumé: Dans cet article nous abordons différents projets artistiques développés au sein de milieux hospitaliers internationaux sous l’angle de la médiation culturelle, et du point de vue interdisciplinaire de l’histoire de l’art et des communications. Après un bref historique de l’art hospitalier en occident, nous interrogeons les modalités d’interaction que met en place l’art hospitalier contemporain à travers des études de cas reflétant trois vecteurs spatiaux : l’hôpital comme espace culturel qui accueille des publics divers, l’œuvre d’art comme objet médiateur et l’artiste comme passeur d’hospitalité. En utilisant les notions de contact, de lien et de brèche caractérisant la médiation culturelle selon Jean Caune, nous observons les rapprochements et les bouleversements que l’art peut provoquer dans l’espace institutionnel. Nous concluons que l’irruption de l’art à l’hôpital réanime sa fonction hospitalière, et provoque un trouble qui participe à l’humanisation de l’institution tout en la questionnant.

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.

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

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.