In the Modern world, one of the most prominent figures that associated the arts and health was the 18th century artist William Hogarth. He was one of the founding Governors of the Foundling Hospital in London, even going so far as to design the uniforms for the children, and the coat of arms for the hospital. As well as donating a number of his works to the hospital, he also founded what was the first European public art gallery in the hospital, where many eminent contemporary artists showed their work. The exhibitions in the Foundling Hospital lead to the formation of the Royal Academy in 1768.

Another London hospital that has associations with Hogarth is St Bart’s Hospital. Apparently angered by the fact that the hospital was commissioning Italian painters to produce its works of art, Hogarth insisted on painting two murals free of charge in order to demonstrate that English painters were the equal of Italian painters. These two large murals, The Pool of Bethesda and The Good Samaritan, can be found in the entrance hall of the hospital.

Below are a selection of links which give examples of arts for health projects and their benefits.

Prospectus for Arts and Health

Salsa on Prescription

Meet Me at MOMA Art and Dementia project

Singing and People with COPD