Creating Care: Art and Medicine in US Hospitals is an ethnographic study of the creative, expressive, and art-making activities occurring in hospitals across the United States. Marlaine Figueroa Gray explores how art programming intersects with medical care in US hospitals, sharing the insights of those who facilitate, participate, and support these creative activities as well as the objectives, values, and functions of these offerings. Figueroa Gray illustrates how hospital creative arts programs model care that includes both those in need of healing and those who heal.
Marlaine Figueroa Gray is medical anthropologist at Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute and affiliate professor at the University of Washington.
Chapter 1: Creative Practices, Care Practices
Chapter 2: A Brief History of Art and Medicine
Chapter 3: Proving Art Works: Evidence and Values Underlying Creative Arts Activities
Chapter 4: “It’s Many Different Things”: Creative Arts Activities as Moments of Disruption
Chapter 5: The Root of Healing: Community and Connection
Chapter 6: Accompaniment and Legacy: Creative Activities at and Through the End of Life
In contemporary medicine, the power of art and poetry to heal has only recently become a subject of scholarly investigation. Marlaine Figueroa Gray’s masterful study, Creating Care, breaks new ground in exploring the concept and practice of art therapy in American hospitals. Her book is a seminal work in understanding the therapeutic value of creative art.
Creating Care offers an insightful and rich exploration of the relationship between the arts and medicine from an anthropological perspective. It's a valuable contribution to the arts in the health field and a genuine pleasure to read.
I am encouraged by the size and scale of this study and excited by it going out into the world. There is a great need in the field of arts in health for texts such as this that illuminate the unique contributions and intrinsic value of the visual, literary and performing arts in palliative care, specifically, from the patient and their loved ones to healthcare providers and healthcare organizations.
For more information, see the author's discussion about the book on The Conversation.