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OAF Talk: Discovering 170 Years of Historic Art Works by Patients of Mental Asylums

Saturday, October 20, 11:00 AM

Constance Schwartzlin-Beberat (1845-1911), Le IIIe Cahier de cuisine de la Waldau, between 1900 and 1910, Morgenthaler Collection, © Psychiatrie Museum Bern
Patient CDK, untitled, ca. 1930, ink and water color on cardboard, 9 x 13,8 cm, Salzburger Landesarchiv (reproduction SLA).


11:00 AM
Drouot Auction House

9 Rue Drouot, Paris


This panel brings together experts from Switzerland, Austria, Great Britain and France, who will focus on the recent discoveries of rare artworks created by inmates of mental asylums in Europe over the past 170 years. 

The panel is chaired by Thomas Röske (PhD, Art History), director of the Prinzhorn Collection (Heidelberg), where an exhibition about Luchsinger’s Swiss project will be on view from October 2018. Dr. Röske is president of the European Outsider Art Association.

Katrin Luchsinger has studied art history and psychology, and is a professor at the Zürcher Hochschule für Kunst and has curated several exhibitions with artworks by asylum inmates. Dr. Luchsinger has directed a research group funded by the Swiss government conserving and cataloging the artworks of patients from 18 Swiss asylums during the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Elisabeth Telsnig since 1995, has worked with artistically gifted, mentally handicapped men and women. Dr. Telsnig has researched the medical files of Christian-Doppler-Klinik, Salzburg, covering the years 1849 to 1969 and published a book about her discoveries of patients' documents and drawings. Since 1997 she has looked after and specialized in research on the art brut artist Joseph Hofer. 




Dr. David O’Flynn is a psychiatrist and board chair of the Adamson Collection Trust (London), the art collection of the pioneering British artist and art therapist Edward Adamson (1911-1996), most of which is now part of the Wellcome Collection. The majority of artworks that were made by their patients remains at Lambeth Hospital, London. 

Dr. Anne-Marie Dubois is a psychiatrist and director of the art collection of the Centre d’etude d’expression at Saint-Anne hospital (Paris) which recently acquired the status of a state museum under the new name Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de l’Hôpital Sainte-Anne (MAHHSA).  

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