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Art and Images in Psychiatry |

Mother and Child

James C. Harris, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009;66(10):1044. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.143.
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Albert Coombs Barnes (1872-1951), a physician-scientist best known as the codeveloper of the antiseptic Argyrol (silver vitellin),2had a long-standing interest in psychology and in art. He was an early advocate for Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis and avidly studied Pragmatism, the psychology of William James, before turning in 1917 to John Dewey and enrolling in his courses at Columbia University, which emphasized a scientific approach to education. Workdays at his business lasted 6 hours and were followed by an education seminar for all employees that focused on psychology and aesthetics; he installed artwork in his factory. Barnes was particularly interested in the art education of the average person. In 1922 he established the Barnes Foundation for the advancement of the appreciation of the fine arts. Dewey joined him as its director of education in 1923. Barnes is recognized today as an art educator and for the art collection that he amassed in the beginning of the 20th century, which is valued at more than $6 billion today.

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), French. Mother and Child, 1881. Oil on canvas, 47¾ × 33¾ in (121.3 × 85.7 cm). BF #15, The Barnes Foundation. © 2009, Reproduced with the Permission of The Barnes Foundation.

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Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978), Italian. Dr. Albert C. Barnes, 1926. Oil on canvas, 36½ × 29 in (92.7 × 73.7 cm). BF #805, The Barnes Foundation. Reproduced with the Permission of The Barnes Foundation. © 2009 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome.

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