According to Alain de Bottom and John Armstrong, authors of Art as Therapy, art has seven functions. It helps us remember . . . that sunny day on the beach, the walk by the pond, those people we love most dearly and the way the light makes their hair glow. It gives us hope to others who are persevering through difficulties; or as in religious art, in whom we may hope. Art inspires, depicting beauty absent in our present circumstance. It teaches how to bear suffering. It comforts as we identify with it. We are rebalanced when confronted with doses of our opposing tendencies or excesses. Certain works gift us with self-understanding. Art brings growth in attitude as we examine why certain art make us uncomfortable. Art brings renewed appreciation for things taken for granted.
When pondering the many benefits of art, and many more not listed, it’s a wonder we are not all great art collectors. We might be a healthier nation as a whole if we bought more art . . . Just a thought.