Monday, October 31, 2005

Art Therapy in Dementia

From The New York Times:
The Pablo Picasso Alzheimer's Therapy
By RANDY KENNEDY
The New York Times
Published: October 30, 2005

SITTING the other day in front of Picasso's rapturous "Girl Before a Mirror" at the Museum of Modern Art, Rueben Rosen wore the dyspeptic look of a man with little love for modern art. But the reason he gave for disliking the painting was not one you might expect to hear from an 88-year-old former real estate broker.

Xanthe Alban-Davies discusses Picasso's "Girl Before a Mirror" with, from left, Rueben Rosen, Irene Brenton and Sheila Barnes at the Museum of Modern Art. "It's like he's trying to tell a story using words that don't exist," Mr. Rosen said.

"It's like he's trying to tell a story using words that don't exist," Mr. Rosen said finally of Picasso, fixing the painter's work with a critic's stare. "He knows what he means, but we don't."

This chasm of understanding is one that Mr. Rosen himself stares into every day. He has midstage Alzheimer's disease, as did the rest of the men and women who were sitting alongside him in a small semicircle at the museum, all of them staring up at the Picasso.
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Anthony H. Risser | |

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