Margaret Naumburg

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Margaret Naumburg
Born Margaret Naumburg
(1890-05-14)14 May 1890
New York City, New York, United States
Died 26 February 1983(1983-02-26) (aged 92)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Residence United States
Citizenship United States
Nationality United States
Fields psychology, education, child development, art therapy, dynamically oriented art therapy
Institutions Walden School, University of Louisville, New York Psychiatric Institute, New York University
Alma mater Vassar College, Barnard College, Columbia University, London School of Economics
Known for First American psychologist to provide training and graduate level courses in art therapy. Introduction of the first Montessori school in America.
Notable awards Honorary Life Membership, American Art Therapy Association, Ernest Kris Prize in 1973, Fellow of the American Orthopsychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association

Margaret Naumburg (May 14, 1890 – February 26, 1983) was an American psychologist, educator, artist, author and among the first major theoreticians of art therapy.[1] She named her approach dynamically oriented art therapy.[2][3] Prior to working in art therapy, she founded the Walden School of New York City.

Life and Work[edit]

Naumburg finished undergraduate studies at Vassar and Barnard colleges in New York.

She did graduate work at Columbia University with John Dewey in education and at the London School of Economics. While in Italy she studied with Maria Montessori.[4]

She opened Walden School in New York City. It began with two teachers and ten students focusing on letting children develop their own interests and ideas. Naumburg believed children would not only learn knowledge, but learn how to use knowledge to their advantage.:[5]

Up to the present time, education has missed the real significance of the child’s behavior by treating surface actions as isolated conditions. Having failed to recognize the true sources of behavior, it has been unable effectively to correct and guide the impulses of human growth.... The new advances in psychology, however, provide a key to the real understanding of what makes a child tick.[6]

Many notable individuals taught at the Walden School including Lewis Mumford, Hendrik van Loon, and Ernest Bloch.[7]

Naumburg married writer Waldo Frank, with whom she had a son, Thomas, in 1917. They divorced in 1924.

Margaret Naumburg is attributed as introducing art as a therapeutic modality in the 1940s.[8] Naumburg utilized art for diagnosis and therapy. However she was not alone in this endeavor. She was unique in using it as a primary agent rather than an auxiliary tool. She called her approach Dynamically Oriented Art Therapy based primarily on Freudian theory. Naumburg viewed Art Therapy as a distinctive form of psychotherapy.[9] She was also sympathetic to Jungian notions of universal symbolism and Harry Stack Sullivan's ideas about interpersonal psychiatry. Building of the work of Freud and Jung, Naumburg explored the inner personal meaning of symbols.[10] Naumburg insisted the only valid interpretation of anyone's art came from them. She was skeptical about simple or rigid approaches to symbolic meaning consistent with Freud's teaching about dream analysis.[11] Naumburg's directive of choice was scribble drawing. Naumburg would have her client close their eyes and then scribble on a piece of paper. She would then ask the client to develop the images they saw in the scribble. Scribble drawing was developed by her sister Florence Cane. She used this technique believing it helped release unconscious imagery.[12]

Dynamically Oriented Art Therapy is based on recognizing that man's fundamental thoughts and feelings come from the unconscious. Often thoughts and feelings are reached through expression in images rather than words. Like psychoanalytic procedures, images may deal with dreams, fantasies, daydreams, fears, conflicts and memories. Whether trained or untrained individuals have the capacity to project their inner conflicts into visual form. In this approach, the therapist withholds interpretation encouraging clients to discover what their picture means to them.[13] Naumburg used art as the means for clients to visually project their conflicts.

Books by Margaret Naumburg[edit]

  • The child and the world: Dialogues in modern education. (1928). New York: Harcourt, Brace. Digitized Oct 29, 2007.[14]
  • Studies of the "Free" Expression of Behavior Problem Children as a Means of Diagnosis and Therapy , Publisher Coolidge Foundation, 1947 - Art - 225 pages [15]
  • Schizophrenic Art: Its Meaning in Psychotherapy (1950)
  • Psychoneurotic Art, Its Function in Psychotherapy: correlation of the patient's Rorschach and other tests with the patient's art productions, by Adolpf G. Woltmann., Published 1953 [16]
  • Dynamically Oriented Art Therapy: Its Principles and Practice. (1966). New York: Grune & Stratton. Republished 1987, Chicago: Magnolia Street, ISBN 0-9613309-1-0
  • An Introduction to Art Therapy: Studies of the "Free" Art Expression of Behavior Problem Children and Adolescents as Means of Diagnosis and Therapy (Copyright 1950 and 1973 by Margaret Naumburg). Foreword to the first edition by Nolan D. C. Lewis, M.D. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University. Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number 73-78074

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Approaches to Art Therapy: Theory & Technique, Judith A. Rubin, (2001 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC),Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group, 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, ISBN 1-58391-070-0
  2. ^ Junge, Maxine B. (2010). "Margaret Naumburg". The modern history of art therapy in the United States. Biography. Charles C Thomas-Publisher, LTD. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-398-07941-3. [dead link]
  3. ^ , Cathy A. Malchiodi, ATR, LPCC (2007 2nd ed.).Publisher: McGraw-Hill, Two Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10121-2298, ISBN 978-0-07-146827-5
  4. ^ Cane, K. D., Frank, T., Kniazzeh, C. R., Robinson, M. C., Rubin, J. A., & Ulman, E. (1983). Roots of art therapy: Margaret Naumburg (1890-1983) and Florence Cane (1882-1952), a family portrait. American Journal of Art Therapy, 22, 111-123.
  5. ^ Milite, G.A. (2011) "Naumburg, Margaret (1890-1983)". Encyclopedia of Psychology. FindArticles.com.
  6. ^ Altman, Julie. "Margaret Naumburg". Jewish Women A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  7. ^ Cane et al. (1983)
  8. ^ Malchiodi, C. (2007). The art therapy sourcebook. New York: McGraw Hill. 
  9. ^ Malchiodi, C. (2007). The art therapy sourcebook. New York: McGraw Hill. 
  10. ^ Arrington, Doris Banowsky (2001). Home is where the art is: An art therapy approach to family therapy. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C Thomas. pp. 19,20,21,141. ISBN 0-398-07161-6. 
  11. ^ Rubin, J. A. (2001). Approaches to art therapy: Theory and technique. New York, NY. Brunner-Routledge.
  12. ^ Rubin, J. A.(2001)
  13. ^ Naumburg, M. (1966). Dynamically oriented art therapy: Its principles and practices. New York, NY. Grune and Stratton.
  14. ^ Naumburg, Margaret (1928). The child and the world: Dialogues in modern education Biography. University of California. p. 328. 
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ [2]

External sources[edit]

  • Cane, K. D., Frank, T., Kniazzeh, C. R., Robinson, M. C., Rubin, J. A., & Ulman, E. (1983). Roots of art therapy: Margaret Naumburg (1890-1983) and Florence Cane (1882-1952), a family portrait. American Journal of Art Therapy, 22, 111-123.
  • Naumburg, M. (1966). Dynamically oriented art therapy; its principles and practices. New York: Grune and Stratton.
  • Milite, G.A. (2011) Naumburg, Margaret (1890-1983). Encyclopedia of Psychology. FindArticles.com.
  • Rubin, J. A. (2001). Approaches to art therapy: Theory and technique. New York: Brunner-Routledge.