The Healer’s Art


Rajasthan, India

Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing.
To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation.
– Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

INDIA-12063 (1)





Constant attention by a good nurse may be
just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.
– Dag Hammarskjold



Sometimes we must yield control to others and accept our vulnerability so we can be healed.
– Kathy Magliato, Healing Hearts: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon






A doctor, like anyone else who has to deal with human beings … cannot be a scientist;
he is either, like the surgeon, a craftsman, or, like the physician and the psychologist, an artist.
This means that in order to be a good doctor
a man must also have a good character, that is to say,
whatever weaknesses and foibles he may have, he must
love his fellow human beings in the concrete and
desire their good before his own.
– W. H. Auden



The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
– Rumi





United States





South Africa

Healing is best accomplished when art and science are conjoined,

when body and spirit are probed together.
-Bernard Lown, M.D.,  The Lost Art of Healing



Wounding and healing are not opposites. They’re part of the same thing.
It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others.
It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people.
It is our loneliness that helps us to to find other people or to even
know they’re alone with an illness.
― Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.








South Africa

The most important innovation in medicine to come in the next 10 years:
the power of the human hand.
– Abraham Verghese, M.D., TED Talk


















Surgeons must be very careful. When they take the knife,
underneath their fine incisions, stirs the Culprit — Life!
– Emily Dickinson




93 Responses to “The Healer’s Art”

  1. I was moved by the photographs and the message of healing, service and love. It amazing what loving, dedicated hands can do.

  2. […] Medecins sans frontieres, I was likely predisposed to admiring Steve McCurry’s latest series: The Healer’s Art.  Spanning 9 countries and 5 continents, this collection of photographs pays homage to physicians, […]

  3. Hello Steve,

    These are amazing. Maybe someday I could meet you. I just retired from the Army after 32 years, my injuries were more serious this time then before. I look at your images and I can feel and understand your intent and why these are so moving, they touched my heart. I am one of the lucky ones. I just started doing photography and I don’t really have a web site I just post images on a Facebook account my niece set up. If you ever get to the Fort Campbell Ky area look me up. I am working on a project I like to call “Human Resilience” which is about people that have come through the healing hands of others to continue their lives. You are an amazing man because you have the gift of vision beyond….

  4. Thank you for another great post under such a human theme.
    And thank you for this so-well-expressed quote from Rumi.

  5. […] ah sono rimasto innamorato delle parole di una sezione riguardante la cura degli esseri umani: L’arte del guarire …mi sono perso nella bellezza delle foto, nella bellezza di noi esseri umani, capaci […]

  6. Fantastic shots and amazing portraits..always inspiring Steve.

  7. […] por la web de Magnum (importante agencia fotográfica), me he topado con el proyecto “The Healer’s Art” del fotógrafo Steve McCurry. McCurry es un foto periodista estadounidense, mundialmente conocido […]

  8. sachin Says:

    Great Shots!! loved all of them!! especially the first and second one are like masterpiece shots!!

  9. Mivelaz David Says:

    Simply superb. Wath camera and lens do you use? Leica M and summicron 28mm?

  10. Saud A Faisal Says:

    Reblogged this on Around us and commented:
    Steve Mccurry’s BW magic….

  11. sehr intensive fotos, die einen daran erinnern, dass technik beim heilen nicht alles sein kann . danke fürs teilen .

  12. Wonderful. Thank you!

  13. […] Bilderreihe zur Kunst des Heilens. Schon das erste Bild ist den Klick […]

  14. Cristina Oliveira Says:

    Hábitos e costumes diferentes….mas o sentido é sempre o mesmo..ajudar, minimizar a dor, reabilitar, evitar a outro:)

  15. Gloria Bautista Calleja Says:

    Gracias realmente creo en todo esto, creo que además de la sabiduria del Dr. lo que cura al paciente es el amor que el medico le da, yo hablo de mi experiencia en relación a una enfermedad emocional ,la soledad me estaba matando, el amor y la compañía de los demás me han ido ayudando a salir adelante.
    Hermosas fotografias llenas de arte, amor y sanación.
    Gloria Bautista Calleja

  16. Reblogged this on На дороге… and commented:
    Beautiful pictures which fill me with a sense of melancholy…

  17. Lorenzo TN Says:

    Fantastic images. Impeccable texts. Thanks

  18. As every time I open one of your posts, I’m lost for words. Maybe ‘wonderful’ is OK though inadequate.

  19. Thank you.

  20. John Christie Says:

    So much love is shown in all your photos Steve. They bring faith to our human hearts.

  21. Olivia B. Says:

    magnifique. merci.

  22. ❤ I love your Photos!!!!

  23. Claudio Says:

    Lovely pictures…

  24. Quien pensara que las fotos de Steve eran buenas porque los paisajes donde se encontraba eran buenos, esto les quita la razón.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    Bravo Steve….:-)

  26. Like doesn’t do them justice but LIKE anyway.

  27. Sheer brilliancy. Wonderful pictures.

  28. alexander torres marquez Says:

    Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2013 16:44:43 +0000

  29. I see compassion in the photographer also. I feel from your images that you must sit and wait so that you become part of the furniture. Do you just lift the camera at the salient moment….all these pictures are moments of interaction where some form of non-verbal communication is taking place, but staring through the viewfinder is very off putting, I’m sure that you don’t do that. You must see a rhythm in those interactions… you see a pattern, then raise the camera… and these pictures feel somehow relaxed because there is a naturalness about the events. When I try to take similar situations I feel tense; the shots feel grabbed, rushed and stuttering. Have you written about he way you work? Sorry, you must be busy, but your art is towering. Would it be too much to ask you to comment on the circumstances of different assignments when you post here. Thanks Steve for sharing them.

  30. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you For these photos. Love you very much :)) Gvantsa from Georgia

  31. […] Steve McCurry’s Blog: The Healer’s Art (photos) […]

  32. Reblogged this on Aspiring Physician and commented:
    No words. Perfectly embodies my infatuation with medicine.

  33. Connie Jensen Says:

    extraordinary and sensitive– fine work!! I always enjoy your photos!! thank you for sharing ! all the best Connie Fisher Jensen NY city and Vermont

  34. Reblogged this on E'n'M and commented:

  35. Love all of them, but find particularly the second photo to be magical.

  36. inglés


    I really admire your work

  37. I like the way you put it in monochrome. Nice shots!

  38. Anonymous Says:

    always so moving and touching… the pictures as well the quotes. Thank you to enrich my life with it….

  39. Massimiliano Says:

    For me it’s the firs time that i see photo of Steve in B&W. it’s strange for me to see the teacher of the color not use color. I like much b&w and this portfolio is amazing

  40. […] Read the original: The Healer's Art | Steve McCurry's Blog […]

  41. Amazing pictures and great quotes! Thank you!

  42. Anonymous Says:

    I can see divinity and dedication in your photos. Each frame you plan teaches and explains what divinity and dedication is …..

  43. Reblogged this on Verde Holístico and commented:
    Thank You Steve!

  44. […] Read the rest here: The Healer's Art | Steve McCurry's Blog […]

  45. […] from Steve McCurry’s blog (which I highly recommend you subscribe to), “The Healer’s Art,” images from around the world, many of children, which illustrate the magic of touch, or […]

  46. Yes! It makes such a difference to people who are sick….knowing that the doctor and the people around them actually CARE. Excellent photos.

  47. […] Steve McCurry, one of the best photographer’s in the world, just put together a gallery on The Healer’s Art. […]

  48. excellent b/w works, Mr.Steve…
    i havent seen this before from you:)

  49. Reblogged this on Stairway Healing Arts and commented:
    Steve McCurry’s photographs always pull me in. Such a gift. I love the theme and quotes of this gallery.

  50. Margo Landon Says:

    I love this. I think you may, too. Margo

    Sent from my iPad 443-935-8674

  51. I just can’t imagine how many photos you have on your archives! life time of work I guess..

  52. […] Rajasthan, India Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing. To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation. – W…  […]

  53. This is a tremendous collection of brilliant photos. I love them all but the top two are my favorite.

  54. Tia Mirck Says:

    This is a totally wonderful series showing the best human beings are capable of, willing to help and willing to accept help, a two-way communication. Thank you, Steve, I feel uplifted. I had just come to point where I had lost all confidence in the medical fraternity, but I know now that there is hope. So thank you again!

  55. Sublime, very touching images.

  56. Thank you, thank you….. for sharing your beautiful work. Annemaree

  57. Annachiara Says:

    thank you Steve!

  58. […] Link: The Healer's Art | Steve McCurry's Blog […]

  59. It is healing me.

  60. Beautiful and moving images. Thank you, Steve.

  61. Marsha Ross Says:

    Steve these are most moving and have a powerful message about how vulnerable we are and how we need the healers in our life. Thank you for posting this photo message.

  62. Very good work! But I have one question. As I think of your pictures, I remember that they always impressed me with colour. I wonder what is the reason that you made all of them black & white?

  63. Reblogged this on Vishal's Photolog and commented:
    Another fantastic post..!! especially all those Medics+photographer folks out there..!

  64. L’ha ribloggato su elinepale ha commentato:
    So che è facile dire che Steve McCurry fa delle fotografie strepitose. Mi trovai anni fa ad una sua mostra a Roma alle Scuderie del Quirinale a dovermi fermare, a metà, sedermi in silenzio per dieci minuti, perchè l’emozione che arriva da ogni sua immagine mi aveva sopraffatto. Molte di queste riguardano bambini, o anziani. C’è da fermarsi a guardare ogni immagine per un tempo prima di permettersi di andare oltre.
    Questo è McCury.
    Questo è il mondo.

  65. What a wonderful adventure through Human behavior!


  66. Another set of amazing images:-)

  67. Another great series from you ! It’s really great to see your black and white work !

  68. […] Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing.To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation.  […]

  69. Jesus Arana Says:

    thanks Steve, these photos are just amazing

  70. Reblogged this on vivererouge and commented:
    “Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.”
    – Dag Hammarskjold

    I couldn’t agree more in this part, that sometimes healing is not all about medicine, chemical, and other stuff, sometimes all its need in healing process is just a tender touch, sincere care, or someone to listen and to talk to…

  71. Isn’t photography all about capturing emotions ?
    These photos are the proof…

  72. Dear Steve as always your photos I think are excellent, reflecting a part of life sometimes not very nice but it is a reality.
    Greetings Carlos Acuña

  73. Wonderful photographs , wonderful sentiments … thank you.

  74. Loved this. It is a healing in itself. Thank you.

  75. As always, stirring photos and captions! . . . Very inspiring!

  76. As a cancer survivor, I can tell you that all of these quotes go straight to the heart of being a patient. Beautiful words – I hope to get a chance to pass them on myself…thank you…

    – J.

  77. i’m only flicking thru the reader and Bamm! Thank you for sharing these pictures with these profound words.

  78. This is what I needed to see this morning. Even with the pain and sorrow there is hope and comfort. The human touch is a powerful thing and you captured it beautifully in these images. Thank you.

  79. MJMartinG Says:

    Recuerdo qu te gusto mucho la foto de la chica afgana de los ojos verdes qu publiqu en Fb no hace mucho. Fue portada del National Geographic y la foto es un mito dentro del mbito. El fotgrafo que la inmortaliz en su momento, tiene un blog donde va publicando sus fotos, y al que estoy inscrita. Te envo el ltimo, qu aunque est en el lenguaje que utilizaba William Shakespeare, las fotos lo dicen todo! Si tienes curiosidad por algn texto que acompae a la foto, con gusto puedo traducirlo para tu comprensin. [?][?][?][?]

  80. Great work as always.

  81. This is so beautiful, so true, so poetic, so soul-stirring. Thank you for this inspiration!

  82. Reblogged this on The shooting doctor and commented:
    For a doctor, these are heart stirring..

  83. Only Steve can capture so many emotions in a single frame

  84. I love these photographs,thanks.

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