Note: It is important to help students understand that the suggested way of making inferences about other people's minds, particularly patients' feelings and viewpoints, is a potentially dangerous one. It is mainly a philosophical idea, although an interesting one, which might serve therapeutic benefits. It might also be worth trying to use this chapter as a starting point for a debate on the role of art therapy as described in Chapter 8, which is a different, but possibly related, idea.

>? Explore the Prinzhorn Collection website. Look at some of the examples of artwork and try to identify any of the characteristics that Prinzhorn mentioned.

> Read or listen to the interview with outsider artist Anthony Mannix and art theorist Colin Rhodes. Can you identify any parallels between outsider art and the artistry of the mentally ill? stories/2006/1586067.htm

> Can you think of different ways to access other people's minds? How do psychiatrists and mental health nurses do this in practice?

> Do you believe that creative products can express the state of mind of the creator? How would you argue in favour of your point of view?

> How can we make sense of the difference between explaining a disorder and understanding a patient? Is a scientific perspective ever sufficient, especially if we have a therapeutic aim?

> In what ways does a modern psychiatric hospital environment undermine the purposes of understanding patients through art?

BOX 4.1 Other useful resources

Collingwood RG. The Principles of Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1958 (first edition 1938).

Fuchs T, Jadi I, Brandt-Claussen B, et al. (editors). Wahn Welt Bild: Die Sammlung Prinzhorn. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer; 2002.

Hayward Gallery (editor). Beyond Reason: Art and Psychosis: works from the Prinzhorn Collection. London: Hayward Gallery; 1996.

Heidelberger Kunstverein (editor). Die Prinzhorn-Sammlung: Bilder Skulpturen, Texte aus PsychiatrischenAnstalten (ca. 1890-1920). Konigstein: Athenaum Verlag; 1980.

Maizels J. Raw Creation: outsider art and beyond. London: Phaidon Press; 1996.

McGregor JM. The Discovery of the Art of the Insane. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; 1989.

Rhodes C. Outsider Art: spontaneous alternatives. London: Thames & Hudson; 2000.

RoskeT. Der Arzt als Kunstler: Asthetik und Psychoanalyse bei Hand Prinzhorn. Bielefeld: Aisthesis; 1995.

TeniglF (Klages-Gesellschaft Marbach) (editor). Klages, Prinzhorn und die Personlichkeitspsychologie: Zur Weltsicht von Ludwig Klages. Bonn: Bouvier; 1987.

Whitechapel Gallery (editor). inner World Outside. London: Whitechapel Gallery; 2006.

Zolberg VL, Cherbo JM (editors). Outsider Art: contesting boundaries in contemporary culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1997.


  • 1 Nettle D. Strong Imagination: madness, creativity and human nature. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2001.
  • 2 Prinzhorn H. Artistry of the Mentally Ill: a contribution to the psychology and psychopathology of configuration. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer; 1972.
  • 3 Tolstoy, L. What is Art? What is Religion? (translated by Aylmer Maude, V Tchertkoff, AC Fifield.) Rockfield, MD: Wildside Press LLC; [1898] 2008. p. 41.
  • 4 Eldridge R. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2003.
  • 5 Navratil L. Schizophrenie und Kunst. Munchen: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag; 1965.
  • 6 Morgenthaler W. Madness and Art: the life and works of Adolf Wolfli. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press; 1992.
  • 7 Jasper K. Strindberg and van Gogh: an attempt of a pathographic analysis with reference to parallel cases of Swedenborg and Holderlin. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press; 1977.
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