Between birth and death, many of life’s most critical moments occur in hospital, and they deserve to take place in surroundings that match their significance. In this spirit, from the early Renaissance through to the modern period, artists have made immensely powerful work in hospitals across the western world, enhancing the environments where patients and medical staff strive towards better health. Distinguished art historian Richard Cork became fascinated by the extraordinary richness of art produced in hospitals, encompassing work by many of the great masters – Piero della Francesca, Rogier van der Weyden, El Greco, William Hogarth, Jacques-Louis David, Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Fernand Leger, Marc Chagall and Naum Gabo. Cork’s new book titled ‘The Healing Presence of Art’ and published with Yale University Press covers the astonishing variety of images found in medical settings, while in the process revealing also art’s prodigious ability to humanise our hospitals. Richard Cork, an award-winning art critic, historian, broadcaster, exhibition curator, and former Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University and Senior Fellow at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London, will give an illustrated talk about his new book on Friday April 20, 2012 at 6.00pm, at the Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre at the Courtland Institute of Art. The talk, organised by Professor Deborah Swallow, is open to all, and admission is free.
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