Hospitals Embrace the Healing Balm of Visual Art

A nature photograph of a cluster of Magnolia blooms on the tree against the backdrop of Bellevue Mansion, located in Wilmington, Delaware. Title: Bellevue Mansion Photographer: Melissa Fague Genre: Nature Photography

Hospitals Embrace the Healing Balm of Visual Art

by Barbara MacRobie

“I remember soon after we launched our first art exhibit at Des Peres Hospital,” said Simone Valle, the hospital’s director of marketing/communications. “A gentleman walking past turned to me and said, ‘I’ve been here for five days with a family member. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate having something to look at as I go down the hall.’ “I thought, ‘That’s the whole purpose.’”

Go into any hospital, medical center, or doctor’s office these days, and you are more and more likely to see artwork. Healthcare institutions are increasingly finding that visual art is an essential part of a healing environment. Three Missouri hospitals are especially strong on extensive and ongoing art displays for the benefit of their patients, visitors, staff, and community at large: Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, Des Peres Hospital in suburban St. Louis, and SoutheastHEALTH in Cape Girardeau.

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