Museums and art galleries as partners for public health interventions

Perspect Public Health. 2013 Jan;133(1):66-71. doi: 10.1177/1757913912468523.


The majority of public health programmes are based in schools, places of employment and in community settings. Likewise, nearly all health-care interventions occur in clinics and hospitals. An underdeveloped area for public health-related planning that carries international implications is the cultural heritage sector, and specifically museums and art galleries. This paper presents a rationale for the use of museums and art galleries as sites for public health interventions and health promotion programmes through discussing the social role of these organisations in the health and well-being of the communities they serve. Recent research from several countries is reviewed and integrated into a proposed framework for future collaboration between cultural heritage, health-care and university sectors to further advance research, policy development and evidence-based practice.

MeSH terms

  • Art*
  • Culture
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations*
  • Public Health Administration*