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You might think that, waiting in a hallway for a family member to get out of surgery, or staring at the walls from your hospital bed, you'd welcome some interesting, engagingly diversionary artwork.
Daniel Day, director of Health Environment Art Services, is here to tell you that you would not.
Day, who has spent the better part of two years selecting art for the new Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, which opened on Saturday in East Norriton, says research, like his instincts, is clear.
"Views of nature are much more preferred than abstract and contemporary art," he says. "When you're in a high-stress situation, you want something familiar, not challenging, not agitating."
It also matters where art is placed in a hospital. As Day likes to say, "You don't realize how important that is until you put the waterfall picture in the ultrasound unit," where bladders are full.
At Einstein Montgomery, the biggest landscape of all is the one visible across Germantown Pike from the hospital: the bucolic view of Norristown Farm Park, with its iconic barn in a field.
The hospital has a glass wall that angles out facing the field,which gives hallways, foyers, and those patients lucky enough to have rooms on the Germantown Pike side as soothing a vista as can be envisioned. Much of the art throughout the building echoes that pastoral scene.
(Read the whole Philadelphia Inquirer piece by Amy S. Rosenberg here.)