• Parkinson’sDisease and Movement Disorders Center Awarded $200,000
  • Historic Collections Receives Grant to HelpHeal “Christ Healing the Sick”
  • More Support for PAH



Parkinson’sDisease and Movement Disorders Center Awarded $200,000

The Parkinson Council recentlyannounced its annual awards for 2013. This year’s awards include a $200,000grant to the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center (PD&MDC) atPennsylvania Hospital to go toward outreach, education, clinical care andresearch.

The Parkinson Council is the GreaterPhiladelphia area chapter of the NationalParkinson Foundation. The Council works diligently to raise funds to supportPhiladelphia area nonprofits and institutions dedicated to improving the lifeof patients, caregivers and their families, educating and promoting the searchfor the cause and cure for Parkinson's.

The PD&MDC is deeply grateful tothe Parkinson Council for their continuing support.

Historic Collections Receives Grant to HelpHeal “Christ Healing the Sick”

PennsylvaniaHospital’s Historic Collections recently received a $40,000 grant from theStockman Family Foundation for the assessment and initial conservation effortsof “Christ Healing the Sick in the Temple,” the painting by renowned artistBenjamin West.

Completedin London in 1815, the painting has been displayed at Pennsylvania Hospital foralmost 200 years, and depicts Jesus Christ receiving the sick, lame and blind.The addition of the “lunatic boy” to the painting was an added homage to theHospital’s care of the mentally ill. Positionedbetween the historical and modern parts of the hospital, "Christ Healingthe Sick in the Temple" provides an eloquent bridge between the hospital'spast and future.

Theconservation of the painting will be directed by Conservators Steven Arisotyand Mark Bockrath, recommended by Mark Tucker, Philadelphia Museum of Art ViceChair of Conservation and Senior Conservator of American Art. Under thesupervision of Stacey Peeples, theHospital’s curator-lead archivist, the initial phase will involve removing thepainting from the wall to fully assess the bulge in the left hand corner of thepainting and produce a detailed conservation treatment plan. Initial assessmentwill take place in spring 2013.

Many of us pass the paintingevery day – perhaps even multiple times a day. However, how many realize what atreasure hangs here at PAH? In 1800, Benjamin West – a teacher of otherAmerican artists and historical painter to King George III – received a letterin London from the president of the Board of Managers of PAH requesting hecontribute a painting to the nation’s first hospital.

In the letter, the Board ofManagers pled their case: "The works of an artist which ornament thepalace of his King cannot fail to honor him in his native land."

West couldn’t say no: "Thesubject I have chosen is analogous to the situation. It is the Redeemer ofmankind extending his aid to the afflicted of all ranks and condition."

"Christ Healing the Sick inthe Temple" was completed and exhibited in 1811. It caused such a stir inEngland, however, that officers of the British Institution pressured West tosell it as the first work to be hung in a proposed National Gallery. It waspurchased for 3,000 guineas, the largest sum ever paid for a modern work.

Determined to not let down PAHBoard of Managers, West wrote them and promised "a more improved plan ofcomposition." He decided to include "a demoniac with his attendantrelations" to reference the hospital's treatment of the mentally ill. Thesecond painting was eventually completed and arrived in Philadelphia on theship "Electra" in 1817. Accompanying the picture was a touchingletter from West, who was nearing the end of his long life. It read:

"Benjamin West, Historical Painter to His Majesty George III,and the President of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, feels the highestsatisfaction in informing the Managers of the Pennsylvania Hospital by havingfinished the picture of our Savior receiving the Lame and Blind in the Templeto heal them. And Mr. West bequeaths the said picture to the Hospital in the jointnames of himself and his wife, the late Elizabeth West, as their gratuitousoffering and as a humble record of their patriotic affection for the State ofPennsylvania, in which they first inhaled the vital air – thus to perpetuate inher native city of Philadelphia the sacred memory of that amiable lady who washis companion in life for fifty years and three months."

The painting was first hung inits own specially constructed "Picture House" on Spruce Street wherethe Cathcart Building now stands. It attracted over 30,000 visitors during itsfirst year on display. The admission fees over a 25-year-period were enough topay for the building with $15,000 left over for general hospital funds. Thepainting has also been exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, thehospital's former West Philadelphia Department for Mental and Nervous Diseases(the Institute), and in a former clinical amphitheatre at the hospital's 8thStreet site.

More Support for PAH

Workingwith constituencies across Pennsylvania Hospital, the PAH Development Officeassisted in securing a number of very generous grants in calendar year 2012.Grants awarded to hospital programs and the Department of Historic Collections include:

  • $750,000from the Otto Haas Charitable Trust for palliative care at the Joan KarnellCancer Center
  • Over$400,000 in pledges and grants from the First Hospital Foundation for varioushospital programs and historic preservation efforts
  • $210,000from the Hall Mercer Foundation for services at Hall Mercer Hospital
  • Atotal of $117,760 in payments from the Catharine D. Sharpe Charitable Trust insupport of the Sharpe Spinal Research Laboratory
  • $80,000representing a second payment on a $240,000 grant received from the HangerOrthopedic Group in support of the Hanger Orthopedic Fellowship at PennsylvaniaHospital
  • $30,000for language services in Latinas Community Health Services in the Department ofChild and Family Services from the Connelly Foundation
  • $10,000from the Garfield Duncan Diabetes Research Foundation for the DiabetesEducation Center
  • $5,000towards Pine Building renovations from the Vanguard Group Foundation
  • $5,000from the Scholler Foundation for the purchase of a new EKG machine for theEmergency Department
  • $2,500for the Department of Family Education from the Barra Foundation.


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