Book Review: Art As Therapy by Alain De Botton and John Armstrong

By PARUL SEHGAL

Published: December 13, 2013

 

De Botton’s new book, “Art as Therapy,” written with the historian John Armstrong, begins with grim news. Every day, honest, upright citizens “leave highly respected museums and exhibitions feeling underwhelmed.” It’s a scandal, especially since the authors firmly believe art exists to make people “better versions of themselves.” They dream of a day when art can be prescribed for specific “psychological frailties” (including poor memory and pessimism), when museums can be redesigned as gyms for the psyche, grouping works not by style but by the feelings they depict and the muscles they work. Captions will whisper prompts like: “Don’t expect valuable journeys to be easy,” for Frederic Edwin Church’s painting “The Iceberg.”

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/books/review/art-as-therapy-by-alain-de-botton-and-john-armstrong.html?_r=0

 

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