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The Art of Examination: Art Museum and Medical School Partnerships Forum

(Pictured left to right) Wendy Woon, The Edward John Noble Foundation Deputy Director for Education and Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence.

(Pictured left to right) Wendy Woon, The Edward John Noble Foundation Deputy Director for Education and Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence.

The Art of Examination: Art Museums and Medical School Partnerships brought together over 130 leading professionals in these fields at a two day convening on June 8 and 9, 2016 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

The Forum was organized by Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University of Texas at Dallas. The Forum was generously supported by the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, which also hosts the website with the content from the meeting.

Planning for the conference included Wendy Woon, The Edward John Noble Foundation Deputy Director for Education at MoMA, a team from MoMA’s Education Department, colleagues at The Frick Collection and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dr. Joel Katz and Dr. Elizabeth Gaufberg from Harvard Medical School, and Ray Williams from the Blanton Museum of Art at UT Austin.

The Forum was designed to share information about the variety of programs and partnerships that engage medical students, interns, residents and fellows in learning to look at works of art to develop observational, interpretative, empathic, and collaborative skills in order to enhance their clinical diagnosis and practices. Information on research and evaluation studies was also shared

The goals of The Art of Examination: Art Museums and Medical School Partnerships were:

  • to explore new program ideas and formats for engaging medical schools and art museums to deepen awareness of looking closely and responding creatively to works of art and relating these to clinical practice;
  • to connect with a network of collaborators working in this field;
  • and to translate ideas into action for future innovations in programs, research and partnerships.

MoMA_Art_Examination

Participation in the Forum was by invitation and required an art museum professional and medical educator who partner in a museum-based program to attend together. The reason for the team participation was to increase collaboration and shared information among the partner institutions and to highlight the complementary areas of expertise that each partner brings to this work.

Sixty medical schools attended including Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Colorado School of Medicine, The University of Colorado Medical School, Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic Center in the Humanities, Stanford School of Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, University of Virginia Medical School, and Yale School of Medicine.

Sixty art museums participated including the Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Dallas Museum of Art, The Frick Collection, The Hood Museum of Art, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, and Yale Center for British Art.

Participation in the Forum was defined by the capacity of MoMA’s auditorium and workshop spaces.  Over 40 professionals who could not be accommodated were on the waiting list and many more expressed interest in attending because of a desire to develop similar programs and partnerships.

The number and variety of art museum and medical school programs continues to expand and the participants in the Forum offered ideas to inform the field  and create opportunities to exchange teaching methodologies and establish networks for research and evaluation and future convenings.

Approaches to Art Objects session included the Master Course "Drawing and Touching" in the MoMA galleries

Approaches to Art Objects session included the Master Course “Drawing and Touching” in the MoMA galleries

From Forum participants:

This experience opened my eyes to so many new ideas. It strengthened my partnership with my medical school counterpart. It spurred even more questions than I had coming into it. I loved the variety of formats and activities and felt so privileged to have the opportunity to participate.
-  Molly Medakovich, PhD, Teaching Specialist, Adult Programs, Denver Art Museum

It was an invaluable experience to be at the Forum with my health affairs colleagues, to hear, see, and discuss so many other programs, and to process what we learned together.  – Carolyn Allmendinger,
Director of Academic Programs, Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Wonderful to bring the various disciplines together in conversation – museum educators and medical educators. So much to learn from each other! – Perspective enhancing!”  – Elizabeth Gaufberg, Harvard Medical School

From around the web
“MoMA shows museums can be relevant beyond art appreciation”, Wendy Woon for the Daily News

Photos: Manuel Martagon