The Power of Art, From Museums to Medicine: A Conversation With Bonnie Pitman Part 2


Athenaeum Review art

Bonnie Pitman joined The University of Dallas at Texas as Distinguished Scholar in Residence in 2012 to research and develop partnerships between UTD and cultural and health-related institutions. She serves in the Office of the Provost, and The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, The Center for BrainHealth and the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication.

As Director of Art -Brain Innovations at the UT Center for BrainHealth and the Brain Performance Center, Pitman expands her research and teaching of the power of observation, meditation, and compassion and her “Do Something New” Practice to foster brain health. These initiatives will connect neurological research with the experience and process of seeing, looking and observing and develop a framework The Power of Art™. She is collaborating and teaching with the staffs at Center for Brain Health and the Brain Performance Institute to develop these initiatives.

With the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, Pitman directs the Art and Medicine program that focuses on the ways museums use their collections in developing close observation of works of art to enhance the diagnostic skills needed for medical practice. The Art and Medicine website at the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History includes research, resources, and courses that cultivate connections between art history and medical education. In 2016, she organized a national convening of Art Museums and Medical Schools at The Museum of Modern Art, NYC the documentation of the Forum is on the website. She teaches a course titled “The Art of Examination” using the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art for UT Southwestern Medical School students and also presents at Grand Rounds in hospitals, including UT Southwestern Medical Center, Baylor Medical Center, UT San Antonio published articles on the art and medicine programs are in the New York Times 2016, the San Antonio Medicine 2017, and Dallas Morning News, 2017. Her most recent publication is in the Journal of American Medicine, was published in January 2018, Pharma Art—Abstract Medication in the Work of Beverly Fishman.

Working with the UT Dallas School ofArts, Technology and Emerging Communication to develop new initiatives with cultural and health organizations to support the strategic plan. Prototyping innovative ways to engage audiences in the arts, sciences and healthcare using new media platforms. Partnering with the Educational Technology Services and ATEC to design and produce videos the Art of Examination, course using works of art to teach sympathy, empathy and compassion.

The former Eugene McDermott Director of The Dallas Museum of Art, she is a national leader in the public engagement of works of art. Under her leadership the Museum’s artistic excellence and engagement with the community dramatically increased. Pitman championed the transformation of the institution. She completed the Museum’s$187 million campaign to support the endowment and improve the building. Initiatives included the Center for Creative Connections, the Framework for Engaging with Art research, DMA’s Late Nights programming. The American Association of Museums recognized her lifetime contributions to the field with the Award for Distinguished Service to Museums in 2011. She served as Chair and as a member of the American Association of Museums Accreditation Commission for 12 years.

Pitman has published six books including Ignite the Power of Art: Advancing Visitor Engagement in the Museum, Excellence and Equity: Education and Public Dimension of Museums, and The Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection.

Pitman received a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude in art historyand graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Sweet Briar College, Virginia and a Master of Arts in art history from Tulane University.