In this section we discuss displayed art (painting, sculpture, etc.).
Below are some discussions of visual art that is asserted or considered to have restorative properties.
1. This report appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association: 5
2. In 2003, the Institute of Contemporary Art, in Boston, presented an exhibition, “Pulse: Art, Healing, and Transformation.” It said of the exhibition, “This groundbreaking exhibition examines the complex relationship between healing and the creative process in the work of fifteen international artists whose artistic practices promote curative effects."6
4. Gazing at certain artworks is said by proponents to be restorative. In many cases, the arguments for such restorative properties can be traced back many centuries.
Ø Here are two excerpts from works extolling the restorative powers of mandalas:
“Mandala is the Sanskrit word for ‘sacred circle.’ Mandalas have been used for thousands of years in Native American, Hindu, and Buddhist Tantric practices to express illuminated states of consciousness and to facilitate healing of body, mind, and spirit. In our century, the famous psychiatrist C. G. Jung first introduced the mandala for use in integrating the fragmented psyche and as a means of accessing the ‘unconscious’ or soul as a source of deep knowledge.”7
“By gazing at a mandala, or by creating one ourselves, we tap into otherwise inaccessible sources of transformational help. Whether we understand these sources to be within ourselves or coming from spirit beyond, we can be greatly enlivened by their gifts. . . . I speak of this art with passion because I have been helped very deeply by contemplating and creating mandalas. During a recent health crisis that could not really be addressed by allopathic medicine, these images have been a constant source of comfort and inspiration. In a very real way, I have drawn on mandalas as a source of ‘beauty-medicine.’”8
Here is some commentary about the compelling power of religious icons. (Note that these are particularly Christian symbols, and are not viewed with favor even by all Christian sects. They might not be appropriate wall art for many restorative spaces available for general public use.)
“The purpose of an icon is to take us into the world of the Spirit, where we can experience the transforming power of divine grace.”9
“Every time I entrust myself to these images, move beyond my curious questions about their origin, history and artistic value, and let them speak to me in their own language, they draw me into closer communion with the God of love.”10
Ø "Many Buddhist images are believed to have healing or restorative effects. In particular, gazing at an image of the Healing Buddha, “Bhaishajyaguru,” (in Japanese, “Futsunushi no Mikoto,”) is associated with restoration. Here is part of a commentary on one work:
The means of invoking the power of Bhaishajyaguru are also outlined in the sutra and include: sincere recitation or concentration on his name, performing puja or offerings to the sutra itself, as well as, reciting and disseminating it, and performing puja before an image of the Master of Healing. The work presents a visual meditation concerning the true nature of the healing offered by Bhaishajyaguru, that being the healing of physical illness as a metaphor for and road to the healing of the illness of delusion.11
 “The Effect
of Art on Venipuncture-Induced Stress” http://www.societyartshealthcare.org/research/
R.L., J. Duncan, et. al. A Study of the Effects of the Visual and Performing
Arts in Healthcare
 “Healing Art and the Medicine in Music.” www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/02/07/1044579930534.html
 From Ulrich, R. “How Design Impacts Wellness” http://www.scenicflorida.org/lscwellness.html, citing Ulrich, R. S., Lundén, O., and J. L. Eltinge. “Effects of exposure to nature and abstract pictures on patients recovering from heart surgery.” Paper presented at the Thirty-Third Meetings of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, Rottach-Egern, Germany. (1993) Abstract published in Psychophysiology, 30 (Supplement 1, 1993): 7
 Ridenour, A. “Creativity and the Arts in Healthcare Settings” Journal of the American Medical Association 279 (5)(Feb. 4 1998): 399-400
 Bell, B. “Mandala Blessings: Art That Heals and Transforms” http://www.soulfulliving.com/mandala_blessings.htm
 Baggley, J. Doors of Perception: Icons and Their Spiritual Significance (Oxford: A. R. Mowbry & Co., 1978): 56
 Nouwen, H. J. M. Behold the Beauty of the Lord: Praying with Icons (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1988): 15
 Sawyer, C.
“The Buddha Bhaishajyaguru” http://kaladarshan.arts.ohio-state.edu/exhib/
 by Stewart
W, Holmes and Chimyo Horioka (Rutland, VT: Charles Tuttle, 1979) http://www.amazon.com/
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