Museum and Art Collections

Sheppard Pratt Health System’s Towson campus is home to several unique art and history exhibits that are open to the public. Throughout the public spaces of our hospital complex and within The Robert W. and Diane E. Gibson Museum you will find work created by professional artists who have been impacted in some way by mental illness or addiction. The main campus also houses our unique Mandala collection highlighting our guiding principles, and a source of inspiration for our Health System.

About the Museum

The Robert W. and Diane E. Gibson Museum was created to help fight stigma against mental illness and to provide insight into Sheppard Pratt Health System’s rich history and Quaker heritage since its opening as the Sheppard Asylum in 1891. The museum was named in honor of former Sheppard Pratt President Emeritus and his wife, Dr. Robert and Diane Gibson, in recognition of Dr. Gibson’s 32 years of service to the Health System.

The museum holds nearly 2,000 artifacts, consisting of books, documents, furniture, photographs, artwork, equipment, and assorted memorabilia, much of which belonged to our founder, Moses Sheppard. Included in the museum is an exhibit on Moses Sheppard, an exhibit on Enoch Pratt and the early years of the hospital, and an exhibit on noteworthy hospital activities, including occupational therapy and nursing education.

The newest addition to the museum is the “Evolution of Treatment” exhibit, which consists of 152 linear feet of graphic displays recounting the history of the treatment of individuals with mental illness from Roman times to modern day. This panel was built to educate the community and those we serve about the history of mental health care throughout time and within this institution.

The Robert W. and Diane E. Gibson Museum is open to the public by appointment only. For questions or to schedule an appointment, call 410-938-3133 or email csoobitsky@sheppardpratt.org.

About the Art Collections

The Art Collection, located within Sheppard Pratt Health System’s Towson hospital complex, consists of more than 100 works by locally, nationally, and internationally renowned artists, all of whom have been influenced by mental illness and/or addiction in some way, whether having worked in mental health, knew a loved one or friend with mental illness, or experienced mental illness themselves. With input from clinical staff, art therapists, physicians, trustees, mental health advocates, leaders in the art community, and a nationally recognized design consultant, The Art Collection shaped the Health System’s halls into a welcoming environment for patients, families, and staff that exemplify healing through the incorporation of art.               

Included in The Collection is a specially commissioned ten panel tapestry, designed and woven by Baltimore artist Wendy Myerberg Jachman, that tells the story of the evolution of occupational therapy, which originated at Sheppard Pratt. Click here to view the “Participation is the Life of a Community” tapestry thumbnail images.

The Collection has been assembled through the generous philanthropic support of Friends of The Collection, with a lead gift by Bernice Levinson, in memory of her late husband, Donald S. Levinson. All artwork in The Collection is available for public viewing, and self-guided tours are available at the reception desk in the Weinberg lobby. The Collection catalogue is available for purchase in the Gatehouse Shop, located in the lobby of the Weinberg Building.

Click on the name of the represented artists to view their work that is on display at Sheppard Pratt Health System.

A second collection, The Marvin S. Schapiro Collection for therapeutic settings, is comprised of thematically related artwork that has been acquired specifically for clinical areas. This art, purchased with philanthropic gifts, in particular a lead gift by Mark Schapiro in honor of his father, Marvin S. Schapiro, enhances the milieu on our inpatient units and in other treatment settings. Click on the name of the represented artists to view their work.