Auguste Rodin, Andy Warhol and Alexander Calder never trained a doctor, performed surgery or cured a disease. But their timeless art, on display around Mayo Clinic, still offers a kind of medicine.
"The arts do have a healing aspect. They improve the quality of experience for patients," Dr. Paul Scanlon, a specialist in pulmonary and critical care medicine, said as he walked a reporter and photographer recently around some of Mayo's most notable pieces.
The clinic's 30-year-old humanities program is rooted in the belief that art and healing are closely tied. It's a conviction traceable to clinic founders William and Charles Mayo.
Scanlon, who heads the humanities program, began the tour at the Gonda Building, a 20-story glass edifice that houses many of the hospital's outpatient services.