Seeing a creative piece of art can transport the mind to another place, another time. It makes us think and enriches our lives. In a hospital or health clinic setting, art can prompt reflection and encourage healing.

The art acquisition program at UC Davis Health began in 1983. Today, our collection encompasses more than 2,600 original works by California artists. 

The artwork of UC Davis Health is curated like a museum. Labels adjacent to each piece show the artist’s name, materials and date of its completion. Every painter, sculptor, ceramicist and photographer reflects the rich diversity and talent of the state and local area.

The benefits of art in a health care are backed up by actual research. Studies suggest that art in the clinical care environment improves patient outcomes and workplace satisfaction. It may have an impact on patient stress levels, mood, pain and sleep. And it can play an important role in staff health and job satisfaction.

From the 32-foot-high terra cotta tiled waterfall in UC Davis Medical Center’s lobby to a tiny 12-inch by 12-inch acrylic and beeswax collage in a department waiting area, the art of UC Davis Health varies far beyond color and subject.

Original art truly benefits the health care setting. By design, UC Davis Health facilities reflect a welcoming, nurturing and, certainly, therapeutic environment. It’s all part of the art – and science – of healing!

More videos on the art collection

Art Rx

A research team led by UC Davis Health pain management experts suggests that art and art museum tours may offer relief from chronic pain. UC Davis Health's Dr. Ian Koebner and his colleagues conducted a study titled “The Art of Analgesia,” which evaluated the feasibility of providing docent-led art museum tours to help patients.

School of Medicine Sculpture

A colorful glass and stainless steel sculpture soars above the courtyard of UC Davis School of Medicine's Education Building. "Emergence" is the creation of Clarksburg-based artist Roger Berry, who designed the sculpture with stem cells in mind. It reflects the university's commitment to creating an environment that stimulates creative thought and encourages collaboration.

School of Nursing Art Installation

The art collection at Betty Irene Moore Hall features more than 40 works by regional artists. From high-energy pieces that stimulate the mind to multicultural offerings that celebrate a diversity of heritages, the installations represent the spirit of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis.