Views And Reviews

Cosiness is not enough

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 12 February 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:480
  1. P Dormer

    During the past 20 years Britain has enjoyed a substantial growth in the art in public places movement. A part of this movement specialises in improving the design and decoration of hospitals, day centres, and similar health care facilities. But the conference Introducing Arts in Healthcare* demonstrated that art in hospitals is not about good art but about people being good to one another.

    Artists argue that they can bring a special knowledge to design and decoration that designers and architects lack. Sceptics say there is no evidence that artists have special skills. And it is indeed doubtful if the professional skills of artists are as deep or as flexible as that of designers or architects. The same artists are also part of a lobby urging the NHS to make it mandatory for new hospitals to spend 1% of their construction budget on art. …

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