Aarhus University Hospital
I was recently told about an exhibition of art in mental health, by service users, happening in Denmark. The teller was also kind enough to supply a link to the museum so, with not a minute to waste, I stick it up here on the blog.
Museum Overtaci is situated in Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov. It is an old psychiatric hospital designed by G. Bindesboll, opened in 1852. It now houses the art museum and the museum of psychiatry, an extensive collection of furniture, implements, medical tools and patient artifacts from the hospital workshop. The purpose of the museum is to “demystify mental illness through a thought-provoking insight into the fate and lives of people in an otherwise secluded and obscure world. It tells us a very distinctive chapter of Danish history, from a psychiatric point of view, and reflects the social climate of contemporary society.”
The Art Museum is on the ground floor of this typically overbearing albeit magnificent 19th century asylum. It houses over 6,000 works of art. Currently there are 850 art works on display, representing 86 artists, all of whom were mentally ill, the majority of them having been admitted to the hospital themselves. The most famous artist represented in the Art Museum is Louis Marcussen, also known as ‘Overtaci’.