UMCG is on loan to the Museum De Buitenplaats in Eelde in Drenthe. The Eyebright Gallery displays works by well-known and lesser known artists. This creates a diverse group image, where landscape and nature form the common thread.
Marietta Janssen, director of the Musée De Buitenplaats and former member of the UMCG Art Society Thomassen à Thuessink, knows the UMCG collection well. “We are now displaying artwork from that collection here so that visitors, patients, and staff at UMCG usually aren’t able to see it quickly. Mesdag’s work, for example, hangs in the historic conference room; no one actually comes there. Now everyone can see it, and more … about 38 other works. We highlight them quite differently in De Buitenplaats than in the hospital.”
Bertrand de Jong is Head of Technical Affairs at UMCG. Petra Koi, curator in the same department, curated the exhibition for the De Buitenplaats Museum. For this purpose, artworks have been taken out of the repository which would spark a lot of discussion at the UMCG, but could be displayed without any problem in a museum like De Buitenplaats. Wout Muller’s Anesthesia, which he created in 1992 specifically for the UMCG Department of Anesthesia, is a work of art. Dream-like, but very naked, very crazy, very offensive. “Well, the wisdom of Dutch society,” Bertrand laughs with some laughter. “But all the fuss in the hospital isn’t good, so it’s nothing of the sort either. Our Kunstgenootschap isn’t overly caring, but we’re a lot more careful with some subjects these days.” Marietta adds, “I partly understand, but sparking debate is exactly what art can do. And the museum is also the place to be.”
Science is also paying increasing attention to art in healthcare settings and the positive contribution that art can make to the recovery of patients. For example, in the Department of Surgery at UMCG, a study is being conducted on the effects of live bedside music on the pain experience and well-being of patients lying down. Another study focused on training medical students’ observational skills by having them analyze artworks. UMCG Technical Affairs is also paying increasing attention to the interface between art and science.
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