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The Center for Eating Disorders Hosts Art Show at Columbia

Body of Work: The Art of Eating Disorder Recovery
March 16, 2011 - April 13, 2011

A sculptural representation of recovery from anorexia nervosa, Judith Shaw’s Body of Work exposes the complex issues of this deadly disorder. Assembled from cardboard boxes, eating utensils, found objects, and an array of ordinary materials, these powerful images reveal the passions, obsessions and rituals of life with anorexia.

 The Eating Disorders Center at Columbia Psychiatry is proud to sponsor this groundbreaking exhibit. “We are delighted to provide a space where art and medicine come together,” said Dr. Evelyn Attia, director of the center and nationally renowned eating disorders expert. “This extraordinary collection affords our medical students, doctors, patients and the public a moving and insightful view into the world of eating disorders and recovery.”

 Predominantly a disorder of teenage girls, eating disorders are found among men and women of all ages.  Shaw’s struggle with the illness began in her late thirties and continued for 15 years until she finally sought help at the age of 53.  Asked to produce a timeline of events that may have contributed to her eating disorder, Shaw resisted the assignment, but eventually found a way to grapple with her illness by creating sculpture.

 As Shaw’s recovery progressed, “the pieces became a valuable communication tool, at times providing a clearer understanding of my feelings and perceptions. More precise than words, the sculptures have become a way to record my progress and keep me engaged in recovery… It has been powerfully healing.”

 Body of Work: The Art of Eating Disorder Recovery opens on March 16, 2011 and continues through April 13 at Columbia University Medical Center. The show is located on the first floor Atrium in the Herbert Pardes Building of New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10032.

 Opening reception will be from 3:00- 4:30 PM on March 16th, followed by a talk on Eating Disorders and Recovery in the Hellman Auditorium by the artist, Judith Shaw and Dr. Evelyn Attia, director of the integrated Eating Disorders Center established by The Departments of Psychiatry at Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medical College, New York State Psychiatric Institute and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. 




Center for Eating Disorders

Director of the Center for Eating Disorders, and a leading authority on these challenging illnesses, Dr. Attia is a major force for improving care for patients with eating disorders. She has been instrumental in understanding the biological basis of anorexia nervosa and in developing effective new treatments. Eating disorders seriously imperil the health and well being of those affected, while also presenting a major challenge for their families. The integrated Center for Eating Disorders brings together unprecedented clinical, research and educational expertise and resources to provide comprehensive and compassionate treatment that addresses each patient’s specific needs and restores them to lifelong health. Treatment is available in in uptown and midtown locations in New York City and in Westchester at the Outlook in White Plains, NY. The Center for Eating Disorders was established by The Departments of Psychiatry at Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medical College, New York State Psychiatric Institute and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.  For more information please visit and

Columbia Psychiatry & New York State Psychiatric Institute

Columbia University Department of Psychiatry is ranked among the best departments and psychiatric research facilities in the nation and has contributed greatly to the understanding and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Located at the New York State Psychiatric Institute on the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center campus in northern Manhattan, the department enjoys a rich and productive collaborative relationship with physicians in various disciplines at Columbia University’s College of Physician’s and Surgeons. Columbia Psychiatry is home to distinguished clinicians and researchers noted for their clinical and research advances in the diagnosis and treatment of depression, suicide, schizophrenia, bipolar and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and childhood psychiatric disorders. The 2000 Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel was recognized for research that helped elucidate the cellular processes that underlie learning and memory — contributions that have implications for treating conditions such as Alzheimer’s and age-related memory loss. Columbia Psychiatry’s extraordinary scientific base is supported by more federal grants than any other psychiatry department in the nation.   For more information, please visit

 Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University’s medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease, and most recently, the world’s first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston, making Weill Cornell one of only two medical colleges in the country affiliated with two U.S.News & World Report Honor Roll hospitals. For more information, visit

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The Medical Center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the M.D. degree and is now among the most selective medical schools in the country. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and state and one of the largest in the United States. For more information, please visit

 NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation’s largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,353 beds. The Hospital has more than 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including more than 220,000 visits to its emergency departments — more than any other area hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation’s leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. For more information, visit




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