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SBU Hospital Art Collection is Healing for Patients

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SBUH art
SBUH employees Leta Brown (left) and Barbara Williams join interim SBUH CEO Fred Sganga in admiring “Caribbean Sunset,” the work of the late Professor Bob Lefferts.

The Stony Brook University Hospital Art Collection is growing, thanks to an active and enthusiastic volunteer University Hospital Art Committee, and the generosity of numerous Long Island artists and their families – creating a more aesthetically pleasant, healing environment for hospital patients.

In an ongoing effort that began just last September, the Hospital Art Committee has acquired more than 60 oil paintings, acrylics, watercolors, drawings, prints, photographs and mixed media works – all gifts from well-known artists who have worked on Long Island, or from their families.

“It’s easy to make our case, since most people know from personal experience what a strong effect a work of art can have, especially when they are ill or worried about someone they love,” said Carol Marburger, a member of the Art Committee.

The Art Committee identifies particular needs and then asks for donations from established Long Island artists, Marburger said. An Acquisitions Panel makes sure that each work contributes to the hospital’s healing mission. Some pieces might be charged with color and energy, while others might offer pathways to serenity and peace.

The project’s aim is not to fill empty wall space – something that can be done on a temporary basis by putting up posters and reproductions — but to build a permanent collection of fine original art for Stony Brook University Hospital, for the benefit of its patients, their families and the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff who care for them.

“This is a tremendous contribution to the healing environment that represents the core mission of Stony Brook Medicine,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, Senior Vice President, Health Sciences, and Dean, Stony Brook University School of Medicine. “We are very grateful for the selfless efforts of these dedicated volunteers, who are passionate about not only art, but also about Stony Brook University. We are also extremely grateful to the many Long Island artists and their families whose generous donations have made this collection possible.”

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“Come Rain or Come Shine” by Iacopo Pasquinelli. The artist, who lives in Hauppauge, is a native of Florence, Italy, and serves on the Artists Advisory Council for Gallery North in Setauket.

Members of the Art Committee – Joan Lash, Carol Marburger and Lynn Spinnato – are volunteers with ties to the University and the arts community on Long Island. Marburger is an artist whose late husband, former University President Jack Marburger, also served as Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory and Science Advisor to President George W. Bush. Lash is the wife of Ray Williams, Dean of the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine. Spinnato is a graduate of Stony Brook University and a professional photographer whose partner, Benjamin Hsaio, is Stony Brook’s Vice President for Research. The project was initiated by Elaine Strongwater, wife of former Hospital Chief Executive Officer Steven Strongwater.

The collection builds upon a generous gift made in 2009 by the Stony Brook University Medical Center’s Development Council of paintings by Ty Stroudsburg, Christian White, Doug Reina and Nancy Bueti-Randall, as well as a gift from the estate of Claus and Helen Hoie. All artwork in the collection has been given to the Hospital and is owned by the Stony Brook Foundation.

For sample images of art in the collection, click here.

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