This paper explores the role of the curator in hospitals. The arts play a significant
role in every society; however, recent studies indicate a neglect of the aesthetic environment of
healthcare. This international study explores the complex role of the curator in modern
hospitals. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten arts specialists in hospitals
across five countries and three continents for a qualitative, phenomenological study. Five
themes arose from the data: (1) Patient involvement and influence on the arts programme in
hospital (2) Understanding the role of the curator in hospital (3) Influences on arts programming
in hospital (4) Types of arts programmes (5) Limitations to effective curation in hospital.
Recommendations arising from the research included recognition of the specialised role of the
curator in hospitals; building positive links with clinical staff to effect positive hospital arts
programmes and increasing formal involvement of patients in arts planning in hospital.
Hospital curation can be a vibrant arena for arts development, and the role of the hospital
curator is a ground-breaking specialist role that can bring benefits to hospital life. The role of
curator in hospital deserves to be supported and developed by both the arts and health sectors.