This week I ask Can Looking at Art Make You Well? in my post of the same title
I asked the question after re-reading a 1995 essay written by Lawrence Weschler for The New Yorker titled Vermeer in Bosnia. In 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?
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