Tag: MoMA

EODIAH Launches Art and Medicine Resources Website

Distinguished Scholar in Residence at UT Dallas Bonnie Pitman’s major advances in the field of Art Museum and Medical School Partnerships has led to the establishment of the new Art and Medicine resource site hosted by The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History: www.utdallas.edu/arthistory/medicine.

The Art Museum and Medical School Partnerships initiative centers on the advancement of medical students, interns, residents and fellows being taught to look at works of art and in turn relating that to their professional practices. By doing so, they develop observation, interpretative, empathic and collaborative skills in order to enhance their clinical diagnosis and practices.

With the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Pitman organized a landmark gathering called The Art of Examination: Art Museums and Medical School Partnerships that brought together more than 135 leading art museum and medical school professionals at a two-day convening on June 8 and 9, 2016, held at MoMA.

The Forum was designed to share information about programs and partnerships between the art community and the medical community and was the largest gathering of professionals dedicated to work in this area and the first time that many had an opportunity to exchange information and ideas about these programs.

Research conducted during the development of The Art of Examination: Art Museums and Medical School Partnerships Forum led to the compilation of critical resource materials for art museum and medical school partnerships including a Bibliography of research articles, studies, and books relating to the field; a list of Program Descriptions of 70 partnered programs; and a selection of course Syllabi.

The new site also serves as documentation of The Art of Examination Forum. Pitman’s Report on the Forum summarizes the gathering and describes next steps in moving the field forward. A Summary showcases highlights from the Forum with photographs. The Forum’s Program with list of speakers, Roster of attendance, PowerPoint Presentations of plenary and Idea Exchange sessions, and video Recordings of the main sessions bring to life the important ideas brought forth and collaborations formed from the Forum.

As the number, variety and purpose of collaborative art museum and medical education programs are expanding, networks for research, evaluation and future convenings are advancing. The Edith O’Donnell Institute for Art History will continue to provide access to resources on the Art and Medicine website at www.utdallas.edu/arthistory/medicine.

The Art of Examination Forum held teaching demonstrations in the MoMA galleries. Photo: Manuel Martagon.

The Art of Examination Forum held teaching demonstrations in the MoMA galleries. Photo: Manuel Martagon.



Press of the Forum has been overwhelmingly positive including a feature in The New York Times.


Read the article from The New York Times here:

How an Aesthete’s Eye Can Help a Doctor’s Hand


Read the full press release from UTDallas here:

O’Donnell Art History Institute Launches New Online Resource


Read the article from the American Association of Museum Directors here:

Bonnie Pitman’s Commitment to Art and Medicine

Report of the Director

Richard Brettell - AH - Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair in Aesthetic Studies - Art History

Dr. Richard R. Brettell

In the land of art history, summer was the time to travel to research sites and work on projects before the busy fall at the O’Donnell Institute. EODIAH’s faculty, fellows, and graduate students have done just that as we continue to make an impact on art history throughout the country and the world. Two of our fellows, James Rodriguez and Kristine Larison, have been launched into the world, bringing news of EODIAH to their new homes in Indiana and Pennsylvania. Fellow Fabienne Ruppen from the University of Zürich visited museums and collections in the U.S. and Europe and spent time with her family in the Swiss Alps before returning to Dallas refreshed and ready to tackle her dissertation on Cézanne’s drawings. And Fellow Paul Galvez spent the summer in Princeton with trips to New England and California museums in his quest to finish his book on Gustave Courbet’s landscapes.

Our biggest achiever since our last newsletter was UT Dallas Distinguished Scholar in Residence Bonnie Pitman, who worked with EODIAH and DMA colleagues to create a pathbreaking conference at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Its focus was on partnerships between art museums and medical schools to cultivate the art of observation in medical students and physicians. By all accounts it was a great success. Congratulations, Bonnie–we await the story in the New York Times!

Assistant Director Dr. Sarah Kozlowski and I worked hard to further two of the Institute’s international partnerships. Sarah made an important trip to Naples to meet with our partner, Dr. Sylvain Bellenger, Director of the Capodimonte Museum in that extraordinary city and to make headway on a multi-year project of collaboration between EODIAH, the Museum in Naples, and the Sorbonne in Paris. She reveals more below. I had a bracing tour of our new Swiss partner’s headquarters, The Swiss Institute for Art Research (www.sik-isea.ch/en-us). Located in a stunningly restored and expanded villa in the hills above Zürich, the Swiss Institute is the most important place globally for advanced research on Swiss Art.

Giacometti plasters in the Kunsthaus Zürich

Giacometti plasters in the Kunsthaus Zürich

Our ATEC-EODIAH faculty member Dr. Max Schich had a summer of global travel in his quest to make UT Dallas a world center for large data art history. He also is working on a promising partnership with the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich, whose former Director Dr. Wolf Tegethoff spoke at our founding. Under Max’s leadership we will see a steady stream of visitors from Munich to Dallas in the 2016-2017 academic year.

In one year, we have established alliances with important museums and institutes in three European cities. These are multi-year commitments that will insure that EODIAH has an important foothold in the places where our discipline was born.

This fall we welcome the return of Drs. Mark Rosen and Charissa Terranova, who each had academic leaves in 2015-2016 and are returning to the fold refreshed by a solid year of research. Each of their reports is below. While they were away, we constructed exciting new offices for these important scholars in the EODIAH complex at UT Dallas so that they can say farewell to their old offices in the Jonsson Building and come to be with us. This fall, we will ALL be together in the ATEC Building for the first time since our founding two years ago. We thank the new Dean of ATEC, Dr. Anne Balsamo, for allowing the Institute’s expansion in her wonderful building.

One of our most important accomplishments this past year has been to dramatically increase the Institute’s collection of scholarly books about art. This effort was begun at our founding with the gift of New York and London auction catalogues by the New York collectors Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Phillips. This gift has truly started an avalanche of books from institutional and private donors. The first was a complete set of contemporary auction catalogues from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and this was followed by the American auction catalogues and private library of the late Perry Rathbone, the distinguished museum administrator and scholar who recently died at his home in Connecticut. From this followed the gift of substantial parts of the art libraries of S. Roger Horchow and the late Nash Flores, each important collectors of art books in areas not covered seriously at UT Dallas. All of this material was capably catalogued and organized on our Cunningham-designed book shelves by students from The Greenhill School. We have also just acquired a private library devoted to Islamic art formed by Dr. Oliver Watson, the I.M. Pei Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at Oxford. This library will support ongoing study and research focused on the Keir Collection at the DMA.

About one 20th of the Comini library

About one 20th of the Comini library

And, if all of this was not enough, an Institute mailing that featured photographs of our book-lined offices so inspired the great art historian Dr. Alessandra Comini, Professor Emerita at SMU, that she has decided to bequeath her extraordinary library devoted to German, Austrian, and Scandinavian art as well as art produced by women artists to the Institute. When Sarah Kozlowski and I went with Alessandra through this private library, which approaches 30,000 volumes, we were in complete awe. The Comini library will be the largest gift of scholarly books in UT Dallas’s history.

This fall, our wonderful new staff member Lauren LaRocca is going to bring EODIAH-DMA alive. Lauren is curating an exhibition of Carolyn Brown’s architectural photographs of the Mexican Baroque city of Puebla and made possible a joint installation of global works of art in the DMA’s collection that use trade beads, the latter co-curated by the DMA’s superb Dr. Roslyn A. Walker, Senior Curator of the Arts of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific and The Margaret McDermott Curator of African Art, and myself. Both installations will open this fall. Lauren has also worked with us and the DMA to create an incredible fall lineup of programs for the Institute at both the DMA and UT Dallas. And she worked with the DMA so that its new mobile app was conceived and worked through in EODIAH’s research center.

The DMA is our full partner, and it is exciting that we will do so much more in the Museum this year than we did in the months after the opening of our wonderful mirror-ceilinged space. We eagerly await the DMA’s new Director, Augustín Arteaga, so that we can work together even more. And we thank the departing Olivier Meslay for working so well with us thus far.

In the short two-year period since the Institute was founded, we have tried to become THE place for art history in North Texas and to make a global footprint as well. This next year will be devoted to hiring another O’Donnell Chair and to launching our Master’s Program in Art History. As we move forward, we are sprinting, not walking! What has made me the happiest is the number of individual donors who have decided to join us on our race toward excellence. Our wonderful Director of Development, Lucy Buchanan, will tell you all about our new friends!


Richard R. Brettell, Ph.D.

Founding Director, The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History and the Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair

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.


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