Toward a More Perfect Union

Dr. Robert Magrisso, a physician and neighbor to many, is also an acclaimed artist whose work was inspired by a near-death experience. Join us on Tuesday, October 24 at 7 p.m. in the Culbertson Room for a presentation of his experience and how it influences his art. This session is jointly sponsored by Stephen Ministry and Adult Education.

Nearly 20 years ago, Robert Magrisso, MD, of Winnetka survived a heart attack, cardiac arrest and near-death experience. The internist, former medical director at Midwest CareCenter in Glenview and self-taught artist, was 48 when he suffered a massive coronary attack and almost died. His doctors worked frantically and saved his life. He now reflects on that experience and uses the memories as inspiration for his artwork.

“A more perfect union” is a familiar phrase from the United States Constitution and the Constitution makes an appearance in one of these works explicitly. However, there are so many other aspects of life to which this also applies: the union of life and death, the known and the unknown, science and spirituality, our planet Earth and the cosmos, not to mention greater union amongst humans. Union is a theme sometimes explicit, but more often implicit, in these works.


I work with images and symbols trying to unite the personal and the universal, the psychological and the spiritual. I use common materials and most of these works are constructions, collages and wood carvings. All are influenced by my work as a physician, by a near death experience I had in 1995, and by my participation in Cafh, a path of spiritual unfolding. I have been an Evanston resident since 1982.
—Bob Magrisso