Mr A Moves in Mysterious Ways: Selected Artists from the Adamson Collection (Art Exhibition, London, 15 May-25 July 2017)

St Francis and the Birds: JP Sennitt, Adamson Collection, R1SF5

The Adamson Collection is one of the world’s largest collections of artworks made by psychiatric patients. It consists of approximately 6,000 paintings, drawings and sculptural objects, produced between 1946 and 1981 by the residents of Netherne, a long-stay British mental hospital, under the guidance of art therapy pioneer Edward Adamson.

This exhibition displays selected works by eight people, chosen for their distinctive visual styles and particular histories. By presenting these individuals as artists, rather than as un-named and undifferentiated psychiatric patients, and framing their objects as artworks, the exhibition highlights the aesthetic, personal and historical dimensions of the collection, whilst remaining sensitive to its medical and therapeutic contexts.

This exhibition is the first time that these artworks have been exhibited under the names of their makers: it is also the first exhibition to take place since the Collection’s recent acquisition by the Wellcome Trust. It is located at the Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck: 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD and will run from 15 May – 25 July 2017.

There will be a launch event and private view on Thursday 18th May. Join us in Birkbeck Cinema at 6pm for a panel discussion on the exhibition and role of art therapy today with David O’Flynn (Adamson Collection Trust), Val Huet (British Association of Art Therapists), Beth Elliott (Bethlem Gallery), and artist Matthew, followed by a private view in the gallery from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.

Tickets for the launch event can be booked via Eventbrite.

For more information about the exhibition, including visiting hours and access, please visit our website.

Mr A Moves in Mysterious Ways is supported by a Birkbeck Wellcome Trust ISSF grant.

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