Our History

Originally Paintings in Hospitals Scotland (PIHS), the organisation was set up by Matilda Mitchell, with Anne Price as paid administrator. Matilda had been invited to start the charity in Scotland with PiH in London providing starter funding. However after 6 months, the Trust became independent and managed its own finances

London found 100 paintings by Scottish artists in its Collection and lent these so work could begin immediately. Matilda and Anne bought artwork mostly from studios and degree shows, choosing work with quality and feeling. Subsequently the artist Will Maclean remarked that the Collection was second only to the Scottish Arts Council’s. The National Lottery also approved enough to award PiHS a major grant for works beyond its pocket. As the emphasis was on quality, many hospitals were pleased to discover the scheme including the Royal Victoria, the Western General, Dunfermline, Dumfries, hospitals in the Borders, the Highlands and throughout Scotland.

The original Trustees were Tom Wilson, gallery owner, artist and lawyer Catriona Mackintosh, art collector and academic Halla Beloff, and Alastair B Dunlop who had worked in the NHS. Henry Walton was a special adviser, devising the Prestigious Print scheme which he saw funded; the prints were then created and marketed for the considerable benefit of PiHS. The second adviser Elizabeth Guest joined the Trust shortly afterwards. Expansion eventually made it essential to create the paid part-time post of Director which Matilda held until the appointment of Sybelle Metcalf. Many younger members of staff have gone to highly successful careers in the arts. Roger Jones was the longest serving Director to date. As PiHS expanded with more staff and work, it moved premises three times.

Art in Healthcare came into being under that name when PiHS and its Friends were combined after a major review of the charity by Bonnar Keanlyside, and funded by the Scottish Arts Council, to enable further expansion of the charity.

Matilda Mitchell
April 2012

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Since 1991 our charity has been assembling one of the largest and most prestigious Collections of original Scottish art in the country. These artworks are uniquely available for display in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

Art in Healthcare is truly committed to the important role that art plays in the healing environment but we need your help to properly maintain and build this unique Collection for the enjoyment and benefit of the hundreds of thousands of staff, patients and visitors who view it each year.

With your help we're able to:

Keep our Collection on display in hospitals and care homes
Support young artists at their degree shows
Buy artwork from professional artists
Provide fun-filled art workshops for patients and care home residents
Develop our training programmes for volunteers

Adopt an artwork from our Collection for just £3 a month and you'll receive:

Your name (or a loved one's) written next to your chosen artwork online
A certificate of adoption with a picture of the artwork
Invites to Art in Healthcare's special events
First to view our latest Prestigious Print
Our colourful e-newsletter

"My patients really enjoy looking at our collection. Sometimes they even do an 'art tour' around the premises." ~ Barron Dental Practice

You can adopt an artwork in the gallery, if it hasn't already been adopted, by clicking the 'Adopt Me' button below the picture of the artwork.