Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Life of the Mind

Exhibit curated by:

Andrea Melvin, Grand Rapids Public Museum,

Display period: 2017-2018


Impact Upon Exhibition Trend:

Life of the Mind includes historic and archival material, yet this seminal exhibition represents an important bridge toward a new generation of mental health exhibitions for its inclusion of content that develops mental health literacy as a means toward wellness. Its development is a noteworthy example of an entrepreneurial curator working with limited financial resources and in conjunction with students from Calvin College, and others. The innovativeness of this exhibition attracted notice from the New York Times website. An early example of Midwestern leadership of the exhibition trend.





The Life of the Mind

Image used with permission from Grand Rapids Public Museum

The National Museum of Mental Health Project, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and “museum without walls” that researches and creates exhibitions that can transform society’s attitudes about, and understanding of, mental health. Through the development of online exhibits, NMMHP does what museums do best – educate, interpret, advance dialogue, and develop literacy on the topic of mental health. 


The Project seeks to:

  • Develop and display exhibitions by facilitating collaboration among artists, curators, mental health professionals, people with lived experience, and others who seek to share talents and knowledge.

  • Share research related to exhibits about mental health and wellness.

  • Build alliances with community, local, and national not-for-profit, for-profit, governmental, and educational entities who are similarly interested in creating positive mental health outcomes.

  • Develop a national museum of mental health.

The Project extends from a research fellowship at Assumption University.