New Post for TheONC: Can Looking at Art Make You Well?

This week I ask Can Looking at Art Make You Well? in my post of the same title

Girl With Pearl Earring, after Vermeer. watercolor by jparadisi 2012

for TheONC.

I asked the question after re-reading a 1995 essay written by Lawrence Weschler for The New Yorker titled Vermeer in BosniaIn his essay, Weschler interviews Antonio Casse, then the president of the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal, during the trial of Dusko Tadic for crimes against humanity.

Weschler asks Judge Casse how he maintained his sanity while listening day after day to grizzly accounts of torture, rape, and murder. Casse’s answer:

“Ah, you see, as often as possible I make my way over to the Mauritshuis museum, in the center of town [in the Hague], so as to spend a little time with the Vermeers.

As do most nurses, I spend my workdays witnessing life and death among patients. At home, the evening news is full of world conflict and disaster. Can merely looking at art calm us and increase our resiliency from burnout, as Judge Casse asserted?

The Oncology Nurse Community ( is a new online social forum for oncology nurses and cancer care teams where they can leverage their collective knowledge, nurture professional growth and emotionally support each other in a secure environment, as registration is required.

Moderated by oncology nurses and key opinion leaders, TheONC features discussions and commentary covering key issues ranging from symptom management and palliative care to managing ethnic and cultural diversity.

Other resources in the community include:

▪                A Library of resources including patient education materials and presentations by community members

▪                Clinic Close-Up, where members can view video-based interviews with experts from large group practices, private practices, and academia covering a variety of topics

▪                News items relevant to clinical practice

▪                An interactive Quiz feature where nurses can test their diagnostic knowledge on a regular basis

▪                A Calendar of national and regional events and meetings specific for oncology nurses and cancer support team members

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