The Living Museum

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The Living Museum in Queens County, New York City, USA, is an art studio dedicated to presenting the art produced by patients at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, the largest state psychiatric care institution in New York City.

The founders of the Living Museum were two scholars, Bolek Greczynki and Janos Marton, who sought asylum in the United States, at Columbia University’s School of Visual Arts in the early 1970s. Their idealism, influenced by ongoing studies of the work of André Breton, Jean Dubuffet, Meret Oppenheim, Hans Prinzhorn and Leo Navratil, led them to start the project of an ever growing refuge of Art Brut in New York City. Dedicated to beauty, the arts and healing, in collaboration with self-taught artists who had experienced the burdens of the world, the project space was initiated as a conceptual performance “taking place in the formless and fleeting (vergaenglich) sphere of trust in the patient, the prejudice of the spectators and the actual work of the artists in the space”. The Living Museum became, for several decades, a space where each participant could develop a sense of ownership and foster their inherent creative talents in any sphere of the Arts.

Located in the grounds of Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, one of New York State’s largest Psychiatric facilities, the project found its current home in 1983. It was initially housed on the second floor of a desolate, abandoned 19th century kitchen–dining building.

The Living Museum in popular culture[edit]

Jessica Yu's 1998 documentary The Living Museum profiles the museum and some of its artists.

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Coordinates: 40°44′10″N 73°43′48″W / 40.736°N 73.730°W / 40.736; -73.730