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Chronic Illness Cost This Former Dallas Museum Director Her Career. Embracing Novelty Gave Her New Life.

Bonnie Pitman w/ multicolored scarf in front of blue, green lights, landscape. Director Art-Brain Innovations, Center for BrainHealthDistinguished, Scholar in Residence for The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History (EODIAH)

Texas Monthly

Elizabeth Hamilton


Bonnie Pitman, former director of the Dallas Museum of Art, developed a chronic, undiagnosed respiratory disease that forced her to retire from her almost forty-year career in the arts. In search of a diagnosis that to this day remains elusive, she began to do something new every day. This simple practice allowed her to manage her chronic illness, eventually leading her to become the director of Art-Brain Innovations at The University of Texas at Dallas’s Center for BrainHealth, where she teaches about the interplay of art and health. Her “Do Something New” initiative has become increasingly relevant in the past year as COVID-19 affects millions of people. A decade later, she continues her daily practice, only now she works alongside neuroscientists at the University of Texas at Dallas’s Center for BrainHealth. Researchers at the Center for BrainHealth believe that novelty improves brain health and increases cognitive reserve, making Pitman’s work even more critical.Read the full article

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Bonnie Pitman

Director Art-Brain Innovations Distinguished Scholar in Residence for The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History (EODIAH)

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