A Study of Museum-Based Experiences to Reduce Social Isolation and Pain

Can participating in museum programs help individuals with chronic pain feel more socially connected? Help us find out!

Visit This Study

Supporting patients with chronic pain, and pallative caregivers

You and your family, friends, and caregivers are invited to visit the Crocker Art Museum to explore the wonders of art and the creative mind. Enjoy the simple pleasures that come from discovering inspiring works of art as a trained guide leads you through facilitated group conversations about select pieces of art. No prior art knowledge is necessary.

After the tour, you are welcome to stay and enjoy the Crocker galleries on your own, or simply relax in the Museum’s courtyard.

The goal of Art Rx is to encourage positive experiences that reduce the burden of chronic pain through specialized tours of the museum and facilitated discussion. The program is free and open to any individual with chronic pain. In addition, participants are encouraged to invite family members, friends, and caregivers to attend free of charge.

Tours take place every 2nd Saturday from
11 AM – 12:30 PM
(please arrive 15 – 30 minutes prior for check-in):

January 11, 2020 Dutch Landscapes
February 8, 2020 American Expressions/African Roots: Akinsanya Kambon's Ceramic Sculpture
March 14, 2020

Granville Redmond: The Eloquent Palette

April 11, 2020 The Splendor of Germany: 18th-Century Drawings from the Crocker Art Museum
May 9, 2020 Contemporary art from the Crocker's permanent collection

Advanced registration is required.
Register online at crockerart.org, or by emailing education@crockerart.org.
Call (916) 808-1182 with any questions.

What people are saying about Art Rx:

 Individuals in pain

  • "I'm looking at art and ... I am no longer in my body; I am in a place of connection."
  • "If you're involved and doing things with people, you're not shut in; you're not focused on the pain."

 Healthcare providers

  • "The most appealing part [of Art Rx] to me is breaking down the isolation that is inherent in chronic illness and pain; that I can't usually do."

 Museum professionals

  • "The idea of, in my job, having some small role in making [Art Rx participants'] lives a little bit better ... felt so innovative and exciting."

Academic Articles:

The Art of Analgesia: A Pilot Study of Art Museum Tours to Decrease Pain and Social Disconnection Among Individuals with Chronic Pain Published in Pain Medicine

Curating Care: The Design and Feasibility of a Partnership Between an Art Museum and an Academic Pain Center Published in Curator: The Museum Journal


Entercom Communications Segment on Art Rx - aired on 96.9 The Eagle, 106.5 The End, Alt 94.7, ESPN 1320, 98 Rock, 102.5 KSFM

Art and Wellness | Focus on Health | KVIE Digital Studios

The Art of Pain Relief: How museums may help address chronic pain

Art and Pain: Researchers from UC Davis are collaborating with the Crocker Art Museum to relieve chronic pain.

Art Tours Tied to Easing of Chronic Pain; Reuters

Healing Gallery: Can Fine Art Help Mitigate Physical Pain? A Free Crocker Program Aims to Find Out; Sacramento News & Review

Ian Koebner, PhD, MSc, MAOM, L.Ac
Email:  ikoebner@ucdavis.edu
Telephone:  916-734-6792
Director, Integrative Pain Management
Assistant Professor 
UC Davis Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Free for everyone. Advanced registration is required. Register online at crockerart.org, or by emailing education@crockerart.org. Call (916) 808-1962 with any questions.