Picture of Health – Wellness at the Museum
By: Margaret Murray, Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg is a Healthier Together Certified Workplace
As the Curator of Public Programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, my professional focus has always been the MFA’s public spaces, performing arts venue, and gardens—not the collection galleries. Most of the museum programs I’ve overseen have been centered on exhibitions in one of our five rotating galleries, with our vast permanent collection serving only—for me, at least—as a scenic shortcut as I checked in on musicians, sound-checked a film, or readied a room for a lecture.
But as our collection galleries underwent a long-planned renovation during our pandemic-induced closure, I began to contemplate something new and exciting. In 2021, what would a museum opening its doors for the first time look like? Instead of using our collection as a backdrop to our programs, how could we use our programs to underscore our collection’s value, demonstrating to our neighbors, partners, and guests that art can be essential to their wellbeing and to the civic life of our city?
The result of this questioning is Picture of Health, the MFA’s innovative new wellness initiative that harnesses the power of our collection and gardens as places to enhance wellbeing and find healing and solace. Here’s a look at the trio of programs that comprise Picture of Health and their origins in the pandemic. Click here to read more from American Alliance of Museums…