the friend online
05 December 2008


Minding the arts - preview

Paul Green explores how creative expression helped one man make sense of his experiences and communicate his understanding to others

Attitudes towards art among Quakers have changed a great deal since Samuel Tuke, under the pseudonym ‘Y’, published an article in the Friend in September 1844 arguing that ‘moral evils have been rampant where the fine arts have largely been cultivated’
  • However, he was also grandson of The Retreat’s founder William Tuke and did much himself to improve the care of people with mental health problems

  • These days, creativity and self-expression are understood to play an important role for many people in achieving the healing, wholeness and personal development which have previously eluded them due to mental suffering and the narrow, biomedical approach statutory services sometimes adopt in response to their difficulties
  • Were Tuke alive today, he would probably be recommending painting classes as part of his regime of ‘moral treatment’ as well as the civilising influence of afternoon tea

  • Paul Green

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