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Los Angeles Magazine: Inside Cedars-Sinai’s Art Collection

Los Angeles magazine recently interviewed John T. Lange, curator of Cedars-Sinai’s art collection, about the medical center’s rich art history and how works by the likes of Picasso, Miró and Warhol have become staples throughout the campus.

Lange told Los Angeles magazine that the 4,000-piece collection, all of which has been donated to Cedars-Sinai, got its start in 1966 when art dealer Frederick Weisman was hospitalized with a head injury. When he was unable to recognize his wife, Marcia Weisman, at Cedars a few days later, she brought a prized Jackson Pollock painting to his room. Legend has it that he bounced back instantly, prompting Marcia Weisman, an art dealer herself and a founder of Los Angeles’ Museum of Modern Art, to begin collecting art for the medical center, convincing friends, artists and dealers to donate to the collection.

Today, the Cedars-Sinai art collection provides a healing environment for patients, visitors and staff members. And it is often used to inspire patients to walk around the medical center as part of their rehabilitation.

“I gave a tour for some women learning to walk and speak again,” Lange, who studied sculpture and had been a gallery assistant and graphic designer before joining Cedars-Sinai in 2003 to oversee more than 4,000 pieces of priceless art, tells Los Angeles Magazine. “They kept asking to see more. The nurse had to tell us to stop after two and a half hours so they could go back for tests. One patient struggled to walk 20 feet but got distracted by the art. Instead of thinking about her pain she was thinking about the art.”

Click here to read the complete article, which details some of Lange’s favorite art works.

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: RxArt: Just What the Doctor Ordered