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Art, History, and Wellness

Updated on May 27, 2017

Scholarly Discussion: Based on what you have learned in the course so far, discuss a specific work of art or a historical event with regard to its relationship to wellness. Share a link and/or summarize your topic so that we all have enough information to understand your discussion even if we are unfamiliar with the artwork or historical event. Discuss how the event or work of art relates to the concept of wellness as defined in this course and how it relates to specific challenges or supports wellness. Finally, explain why you chose the topic and how you think it contributes to our understanding or conceptualization of wellness. When responding to your peers, be sure to provide feedback on how you think their artwork or historical event has impacted the state of wellness today.

There have been many factors throughout history that have in one way or another affected wellness. One particular social practice throughout history that has had a large effect on wellness is alcohol consumption. The first historic event that came to mind when I considered events that had a direct connection to wellness was the prohibition which took place from 1919 to 1933 in the United States of America. The prohibition in the United States of America was enacted because the leaders of the prohibition movement became concerned by the drinking culture that was developing in America; the goal behind the prohibition was to reduce alcohol consumption by eliminating the businesses that manufactured, distributed, and sold alcoholic beverages (Ohio State University, n.d.). The prohibition also inspired many different pieces of art and advertisements as people tried to advocate either for or against the 18th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The two images I included are both art pieces that were distributed during the prohibition to encourage people away from alcohol. The first image is designed to appeal to a family man as it is based on the idea that by voting against the 18th amendment a person was voting to sacrifice their family to the greed of the alcohol trade. The second image shows a bottle of alcohol dressed as a woman with a flower saying “he loves me, he loves me not” as a man walks away; this advertisement is promoting the idea of giving up alcohol before a person becomes addicted to it.

The prohibition and the art in favor of it directly relates to the financial, emotional, and social dimensions of wellness. The prohibition was directly against alcohol because of the negative effect it had on people as well as the drinking culture it was creating in the United States of America (Ohio State University, n.d.). For instance drinking in excess is costly and can negatively impact a person’s financial wealth, a lack of financial wellness and stability can lead to stress which impacts emotional wellness, and finally having a lack of emotional wellness would affect the way a person interacts with their friends and family in a negative manner which could cause a lack of social wellness (Levine & Reinarman, 2004). During the prohibition people who were willing to give up alcohol, usually those who lived in rural areas, sought guidance from their church when they normally would have turned to alcohol, this led to those people increasing their spiritual wellness in addition to their financial, emotional, and social wellness levels (West's Encyclopedia of American Law, 2005).


Levine, H. & Reinarman, C. (2004). Alcohol prohibition and drug prohibition Lessons from alcohol policy

for drug policy. Amsterdam: CEDRO.

Ohio State University. (n.d.). Why Prohibition? Retrieved

West's Encyclopedia of American Law. (2005). Prohibition. Retrieved


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