THE THERAPEUTIC MUSEUM: EXPANDING THE PUBLIC VALUE OF ART MUSEUMS
The Philadelphia Museum of Art offers a program called Veterans Empowered through Art (VET Art) which is advertised as a therapeutic museum visit. While it offers the participants a positive experience, it does not substantially differ from stand museum educational programming. My thesis argues for the use of art and the museum experience in creating a space for active therapy. Art museums can maximize their potential therapeutic value by creating programs that focus on self- reflection and community, using the knowledge of museum educators, art therapists, and public practice artists. By
using works of art to lead discussion about personal feelings, memories, and mental states, this program would help fulfill the utopian vision of the museum creating a happier and healthier public, in a way which highlights and includes the diverse voices and needs of the public.
As a painter, my research made me wonder about how to create art which people connect to emotionally. I have investigated this through four paintings which use specific palettes from my memory. The goal is to encourage people to project their own associations, feelings and memories onto the pieces as they view them. The paintings are accompanied by museum style labels which ask questions of the viewer, instead of giving information about the paintings.
Sector C Art Practice & Technology | Advisors: Andrea Hornick (FNAR) | Tanya Jung (VLST)