Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art Business

First Advisor

Judith Prowda

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Pergam


This paper discusses the history of the inclusion of art in hospitals and clinical settings, and how the presence and effectiveness of art has been vital to one’s healing journey from illness. Often, art is used as wall-fillers within healthcare facilities, and irregularly updated or cared for. This essay will provide imagery and descriptions of successful art that has been chosen or commissioned in hospital spaces, and we will dive into multiple case studies and research done that prove the positive effects art has on patient’s well-being. Additionally, the most frequent types of art found in these facilities will be analyzed, and what art works best will be examined. The opinions and experiences of healthcare workers are used to provide a look into the lives of individuals who spend endless hours surrounded by art, or the lack thereof. Additionally, interviews with an experienced, successful hospital curator and a world-renown clinical art department will be used to provide readers with a better understanding of what occurs behind the scenes of hospital’s art collections. Next, the paper considers the challenges that come with having art in hospitals, such as the preconceived notions that art is unimportant and funding should be invested elsewhere. Finally, we will take a close look into a museum and hospital collaboration that utilizes art to teach, inspire, and distract.