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Published on July 9, 2021

A museum prescription for healthcare professionnals

Raymonde April (born in 1953), “Self-portrait with Curtain,” from the group “My Gaze Is Clear Like a Sunflower,” 1991, digital chromogenic print from a film negative. MMFA, gift of the artist

On June 29, the Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) and the association Médecins francophones du Canada began offering unlimited access to a virtual version of the Museum Prescription launched in 2018. More specifically, this pilot project, which enables physicians to write actual medical prescriptions for free Museum visits to patients and their families so they can experience the health benefits of art, is now available in a virtual format for healthcare professionals. This version, which comprises a selection of the Museum’s digital content, was put together with the aim of fostering these workers’ well-being through art at the end of a particularly trying year.

The Museum Prescription, an innovative collaborative project between the MMFA and Médecins francophones du Canada, has forged links between the medical and museum communities. Given the tremendous success of the initiative, the first of its kind in the world, and considering the stresses on healthcare system, the MMFA and the association sought a way to provide relief for healthcare staff, who have demonstrated courage, solidarity and resilience in the face of adversity.

“After an extremely overwhelming year for all health professionals, it was important for us to offer a little art and beauty to those who have contributed to the well-being of the population and who need a chance to catch their breath,” explained Mélanie Deveault, Director of Education and Wellness, MMFA.

With access to live culture being limited due to the pandemic, the MMFA and Médecins francophones du Canada explored ways of making works in the Museum’s collection accessible to health professionals so that they, too, can experience the benefits of art, on their own schedule and in the comfort of their own homes.

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