Porter Art therapy

Brief History of Art Therapy

“Dynamically oriented art therapy”, defined by Margaret Naumburg, established as a form of psychotherapy in 1960, and maintains a gaining momentum of support within the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience and psychoanalysis.

“The process of dynamically oriented art therapy is based on the recognition that man’s fundamental thoughts and feelings are derived from the unconscious and often reach expression in images rather than in words.  By means of pictorial projection, art therapy encourages a method of symbolic communication between patient and therapist” (Naumburg, 1).  Margaret Naumburg was born in NYC and started the first Walden School with Florence Cane.  She spent a period of her life writing about her work and art therapy practices, then by the late 1950’s she was teaching Art Therapy at the New School. Margaret died at the age of 92 in 1983.

An oil painting from Edith Kramer’s Social Realism series, 1937

Edith Kramer is another significant Art Therapy pioneer defining a form of “Art as Therapy”, guiding the process of clients making art.  She published her first article “Art Therapy in a Children’ Community” in 1958.  Born in Vienna, Austria moving to New York in 1938 she became involved advancing and defining the field of Art Therapy.  She contributed to the start of the American Art Therapy Journal in 1961, the first Art Therapy Masters Program at Hahnemann (now the medical college of Drexel University) in Philadelphia in 1968, the program at NYU in 1973, as well as taught at several other Universities and Schools.  She has contributed a plethora of articles and books throughout her lifetime retiring from NYU in 2005.

One thought on “Brief History of Art Therapy

  1. Pingback: Brief History of Art Therapy « porterarttherapy

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