Our History

The Foundation for Hospital Art’s mission emerged out of the work John Feight had done in hospitals around the world starting in 1975.


While in Paris for a one-man show of his art he recalled his grandfather’s work as a country doctor in Ohio. His grandfather, Dr. John Duncan, never put limits on his dream…his dream to care for people. He cared for those who couldn’t pay…he never charged them. He inspired John to devote his free time to those in hospitals.

After returning from Paris John started volunteering at Northside Hospital on Sunday nights. He discovered patients staring at blank walls. The patients were depressed and in pain.

His reaction created the Foundation’s mission…to give comfort and love to those in hospitals by painting the traditional sterile blank walls into walls of color and interest…to bring the out-side in-side.

John’s second painting changed everything. While painting a jungle scene, a little four year old girl was brought out of her room by a nurse…the girl touched John and said “I want to paint”. John’s reaction was instant. The little girl became precious and not his art.

In 1984, the idea that art can give comfort and love became a mission under the name The Foundation for Hospital Art, with a non-profit tax status of a 501(c)(3).

With the hands and hearts of over 1,000,000 volunteers, the Foundation has donated over 50,000 paintings to over 7,500 hospitals and nursing homes in 195 countries.

The key group that drives the Foundation’s mission is made up of patients, families, medical staffs and volunteers from around the world.