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Arts in Hospitals

Kings Fund Arts in Hospitals

In celebration of World Art Day, The King's Fund have taken a look back through their library and archive collection to reflect on the Fund's history of commissioning works of art for hospital from 1979 to 2010.


"In the first half of the 20th century, new hospital buildings began to focus on a more medicalised approach to care and little or no art was placed in hospitals during this time. This decorative blight continued through to the 1960s, until which time ‘hospitals, wards and patients had to suffer environments in which colour and decoration were taboo’.


"Various art-in-hospital schemes – such as the Paintings in Hospitals loan scheme – came into existence during the mid-20th century. However, there was no ‘central initiative to brighten with pictures the other dreary buildings of the NHS’. So in 1979, The King’s Fund established the Murals for Hospital Decoration scheme, later known as the Art in Hospitals scheme, to commission young artists to paint murals for NHS buildings in Greater London. The scheme was jointly financed with the Greater London Association of the Arts Council and administered by the Public Art Development Trust."


To find out more about The King’s Fund’s work in commissioning art for hospitals, visit this page to read the full article (quoted in part, above) or visit their digital archive.


Posted on 27 April 2016

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