Art, Observation, and Medicine

A community partnership between Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Kansas City UniversityArt, Observation, and Medicine is an interactive course that utilizes the power of the visual arts and the museum setting to enhance communication, critical thinking, and observational skills among medical students.

To learn more about how a museum-based, collaborative art experience can be scheduled for your medical team or adapted to other professional groups, contact or call 816-457-6137.


In the Fall of 2018, Full Slate Studios visited Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art at the request of Ovation television to learn more about Art, Observation, and Medicine.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Kansas City University first-year medical students participate in a Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) session at the museum––VTS is a research-based methodology that utilizes art discussion to develop growth in aesthetic and cognitive skills. Reflective discussions forge the connections between processes of active art examination and medical practice.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

  • Art observation and discussion encourages observation, interpretation, and diagnostic skills development.
  • Participants enhance and recognize the value of collaborative observation skills and team work.
  • An art museum can create a safe haven for health professionals to deepen their own relationships with one another.
  • Art observation and discussion promote individual reflection, foster empathy, and increase appreciation for the psychosocial context of patient experience.
  • Participants gain comfort with and increase tolerance for ambiguity.


Special thanks: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is grateful for the highly motivated volunteers who serve as docents and facilitate this program. The Kemper Museum Docent Program is made possible by generous support of the Family of Mary Beth Smith.