Museums and Art Galleries as Partners for Public Health Interventions

By Camic, Paul M.; Chatterjee, Helen J. | Perspectives in Public Health, January 2013 | Go to article overview

Museums and Art Galleries as Partners for Public Health Interventions


Camic, Paul M., Chatterjee, Helen J., Perspectives in Public Health


Keywords

well-being; social inclusion; health promotion; health inequalities; museums; art galleries; community-based interventions

Abstract

The majority of public health programmes are based in schools, places of employment and in community settings. Likewise, nearly all health-care interventions occur in clinics and hospitals. An underdeveloped area for public health-related planning that carries international implications is the cultural heritage sector, and specifically museums and art galleries. This paper presents a rationale for the use of museums and art galleries as sites for public health interventions and health promotion programmes through discussing the social role of these organisations in the health and well-being of the communities they serve. Recent research from several countries is reviewed and integrated into a proposed framework for future collaboration between cultural heritage, health-care and university sectors to further advance research, policy development and evidence-based practice.

CULTURAL HERITAGE AND PUBLIC HEALTH

Most public health practitioners and researchers are probably not likely to consider the heritage sector, and specifically museums and art galleries, as venues for interventions focused on health and well-being, two areas directly related to public health policy and programming. This article begins with a rationale as to why museums and galleries offer the possibility to be good partners to carry out public health policy initiatives; this is followed by a discussion about the social role that museums/galleries can play in health care, along with some examples of recent research. We conclude by presenting a framework for museum and gallery involvement with recommendations about future engagement.

Throughout much of the world, health-care treatment is delivered in clinics and hospitals while health promotion and illness prevention activities mostly occur in schools, community organisations and the workplace. While these are suitable locations that reach a great many people, there are other organisations and sectors that could be approached as partners in public health research and practice development. One such potential partner is the cultural heritage sector, a segment of which comprises museums and art galleries. (The term 'museums' will be used here to encompass art galleries and museums.) There are over 19,300 museums throughout the European Economic Area (EU member states, Norway and Switzerland)1 and about the same number in Canada and the USA,2 which make these organisations well placed to reach a diverse population across rural and urban settings.

Museums have experienced a great deal of change in recent years and many have become more aware of the needs and interests of their local communities3 while also expanding the types of activities offered, including the development of in-house programmes and outreach activities to those who are often socially excluded from participation due to a range of exclusionary practices and circumstances.4,5,52 Possibly unknown to the health-care sector, numerous museums currently offer innovative programmes that seek to address challenging health-care problems, offer support to caregivers and provide education, often within an aesthetically pleasing environment. Some of these programmes, activities and research studies, for example, have addressed health and well-being issues such as mental health problems,7,8 dementia,9-12 cancer, 13,14 lifelong learning for older adults,15,16 health education17 and social capital.18

While museums can sometimes be intimidating places, they are nearly always non-stigmatising settings in that they are not institutions where diagnosis and treatment of medical and mental health problems occur, nor are they settings where one experiences embarrassment, shame or criticism for attending. Museums can be places that encourage people to learn about themselves, their culture and society, and the larger world around them. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Museums and Art Galleries as Partners for Public Health Interventions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.