Art & Psychiatry

CHAIR: Hans-Otto Thomashoff (Austria) Address: Schottengasse 3/23, 1010 Wien/Vienna, Austria
Phone: 43 1 5334100
Fax: 43 1 5139437 
CO-CHAIR: Ekaterina Sukhanova (USA)

Address: City University of New York,  205 E 42nd St., Room 940, 
New York, NY 10075,  United States of America  
Phone: 1 646 664 8054
Fax: 1 646 664 2957 

SECRETARY: Vlasta Meden Klavora (Slovenia) Address: Prekomorskih brigad 10, 5000 Tolmin - Slovenia


>> Please click here to see the Section Members list.

Richard Lachman: Activities and Future Endeavors

The Section of the Psychopathology of Expression dates back to the art exhibition of Volmat and Delay at the first world congress of psychiatry in 1950. Already in the 19th and more so in the 20th century the art of psychiatric patients had arisen the interest of psychiatrists as well as academic artists, of which Lombroso, the Prinzhorn Collection, Art Brut and Gugging may be the most renowned. The aims of the section are to bring together interdisciplinary research from psychiatry, neurobiology, art-history, art-psychology and art-therapy to further understand the basics of creativity.

In addition to art-exhibitions like "Psyche and Art" at the 1999 world-congress in Hamburg (catalogue: Thomashoff/ Naber: "Psyche and Art", Schattauer 1999 - Web site:, which was also shown in the famous Museum of Modern Art in Vienna and which may lead to a continuous art project of the section, as well as new exhibition projects coming up for the European congress in Madrid in 2001 and the next world congress in Yokohama in 2002, the section is focussing on interdisciplinary symposia at several congresses. Its members also have been active in several recent publications as in the books: "Esteticas de la Angustia", Oviedo 1999, "The Graphical Language of Insanity", Rome 1999, "De Sainte-Anne et d´Ailleurs", Paris 2000 and are joint with the magazine "Art Therapy".

The future plans of the section include the following:

  • expand its activities to all continents in order to allow intercultural scientific exchange (recent new contacts include: Russia, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Malaysia...)
  • restructuring, reorganization and possibly renaming of the section
  • achieve a constant financial support in order to regularly participate at further congresses and allow regular publications
  • develop an interdisciplinary journal on research in creativity for which already renowned scientists have been found to participate
  • build up constant exhibition projects to support artists from a psychiatric background to reenter society through their art, as has been done in a recent joint project with Sothebys
  • expand the activities to other artistic means like concerts, literature and so on in order to achieve higher public recognition to further help destigmatization

Anybody interested in joining or supporting the objects of the section please do not hesitate to contact me via phone / fax or e-mail.

>> New publication by the WPA Section of Art and Psychiatry

>> The Club of Amateurs of Art in Gdynia - Family like place for psychiatric patients

>> Basics for the Therapeutic Use of Art




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