Harvard Art Museums uses collections to help doctors decompress

Friday, May 29, 2020 - 20:10 in Psychology & Sociology

David Odo from the Harvard Art Museums led a virtual conversation with a group of radiologists on a recent afternoon. The topic? A likeness of singer and songwriter Stevie Wonder. In particular, the conversation focused on the museums’ 2004 print by conceptual artist Glenn Ligon titled “Self-Portrait at Eleven Years Old” based on the cover of Wonder’s 1977 compilation album, “Looking Back.” To begin the session, Odo noted Ligon’s use of a familiar image in a new way and wondered why the artist — whose work frequently addresses questions of identity — called his close rendering of the cultural icon a self-portrait. He then asked participants whom they aspired to be like at age 11. (“My mother” and “Michael Jackson” were two of the answers.) The session was one of the museums’ 30-minute art breaks — informal, virtual get-togethers organized by the museums’ staff that focus on looking and interpreting and are...

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