Medicine and the Museum


Course Title

Medicine and the Museum

Course Description

At Rice University, we are ideally situated in close proximity to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, an internationally distinguished institution whose permanent collection includes important holdings in Classical, Old Master, Modern, and Contemporary artworks. Each week, this class will focus on featured artworks in the museum collection as we build key skills relating to humanity, medicine, and caregiving. Topics to be addressed include the visualization of embodiment and motion, eros and pain, grief and loss, mortality and transition, spirituality and transcendence. We will also examine issues relating to vulnerable populations, particularly children and the elderly. Emphasis will be placed on cultivating core skills relating to visual acuity, including observation and description, the ability to distinguish subtle and ambiguous presences, and the capacity to reconcile multiple—sometimes conflicting—points of view. Notably, this class has been developed with the input and insights of the Rice undergraduate community.

Course Level

Instructor Name

Course Topics

Disciplinary Perspectives

Geographic Location

Houston, Texas

Instructional Modality

Institutional Location


Medicine and the Museum