Art and Music at Mayo Clinic


Many years ago, when I was a much younger person, I was taught that good health meant not only the lack of disease but was indeed a combination of emotional, physical and social well being. Keeping these words in mind I realize that here on the Mayo Campus not only is there a trained staff prepared to meet the various medical needs of the patient, but there is also something else, something deeper and perhaps indefinable that plays into those other parts of good health. I am referring to the art and music at Mayo.


As a Mayo staff member I am still amazed by the very accessible art and music available to me as I walk not only through the skyway and subway of the Mayo campus but outside, on the side walk as well. I see paintings, sketches, textiles hanging from walls, sculptures both inside and out, glass that is blown, shaped, sandblasted. There are pieces displayed that were created as art and others that though once useful objects or tools, have now evolved into art. The Plummer building itself could be defined as “building art” if such a term exists. And housed in this magnificent building is the weighty carillon from which music is sent cascading from the sky. Music also rises from the subway where you find grand pianos in various locations serenely waiting for those brave souls who wish to tickle the ivory. Couples, children, groups, trained and untrained alike have seated themselves on the bench to play for the passing audience.

MusicThere are many words that could be used to describe the art and music at Mayo. And yet, there are those moments when you hear Beethoven played in the Gonda atrium by what looks to be an eight year old; or you stop and actually “see” a painting that you have passed many times before and you realize then, that sometimes words do not do justice.

This article was submitted by Erin O’Neill, a library associate at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

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4 Responses to “Art and Music at Mayo Clinic”

  1. Darryl Aguayo Says:

    interesting take on the subject, count me as a new subscriber!

  2. Linda Rockey Says:

    I appreciate and agree with your observations. When I applied for jobs at Mayo Clinic, I only checked the Plummer Building positions. I had always felt the essence of Mayo in the Plummer Building. As a patient for over 40 years I would find solace in the historical unit when I needed a little time to think and reflect on my visit here. For over 20 years I collected Mayo memorabilia and last year donated it to the historical unit for them to use as they see fit. I wanted to share with others what I had lovingly collected. Art, music, and hugs are all meant to be shared.

  3. Terri Says:

    Lovely thoughts, thank you for sharing!

  4. Margaret Goff Says:


    Oh how very much I relate to your colorful words. Yes, Mayo heals, mind, body and soul. It is like a religious experience going there. I say – here take me – mold me – heal me – and I always come away refreshed. Thanks for your deep appreciation for the beauty that is Mayo.

    Margaret, a patient

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