Aaron Levy

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of curators and clinicians from the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Slought Foundation, and Penn Medicine started the Rx/Museum project with the goal of creating an online medical humanities experience to support healthcare providers. The project championed the role of art in the training and wellbeing of clinicians, and aimed to foster connection, reflection, and humanistic learning during a time of immense trauma and isolation. Rx/Museum began as a series of essays that were originally emailed on a weekly basis from July 2020 to June 2021. These 52 essays were later published together in a book.

The Rx/Museum book features a foreword and afterword by the editors describing the philosophy of the project and explaining the importance of art in medical education, along with the 52 essays published in chronological order. Each essay focuses on an individual artwork including paintings, photographs, and film stills. The essays are structured in a uniform manner, starting with a thematic quote, followed by a description of the artwork that provides an historical context and highlights visual features, then a print of the artwork, and finally a series of reflections which connect the artwork with issues in healthcare.

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