The Caring Museum: How Older People Contribute to Museums

Jan 15

There are an increasing number of books about how museums can help older people. But none about how older people are helping museums. So that’s the refreshing focus of our forthcoming title, The Caring Museum.

However, older people are not only users of museum services. They are also contributors to them. The Caring Museum will focus on the many ways in which the involvement of older people can contribute to the development and growth of museums, through innovative programmes and bold new thinking.

The book aims to explore current and developmental issues in the field of museums and ageing, with a clear emphasis on the emerging and innovative opportunities which ageing populations present, drawing on practice-based, research-oriented and conceptual themes. The book is being edited by Australia-based Hamish Robertson, who has a unique blend of experience in health, ageing and cultural heritage work, having worked both with the Ageing Research Centre, and with the Australia Council on visitor and diversity research.

Our call for papers, launched in October, resulted in an exceptional quality of response. But what really surprised us was the tremendous enthusiasm and commitment of the prospective authors - we were quite overwhelmed!

After much hard thinking, the following essays and case studies were chosen for inclusion, and the book will be published in late Spring 2015:

  1. Eszter Biró, Petofi Museum, Budapest: Working with Older Women Without Family.
  2. Helen Chaterjee & Linda Thomson, University College London: Museums and Social Prescribing. 
  3. Tine Fristrup & Sara Grut, Aarhus University, Denmark & Nordic Centre of Heritage Learning and Creativity, Sweden: Nordic Museums as Places for Self-Care in Later Life.
  4. Helen Fountain, Museum of Oxford: Reminiscence Work in Oxford. 
  5. Dale Hilton et. al., The Cleveland Museum of Art: Outreach, Knowledge Transfer and Volunteering. 
  6. Sybille Kastner, Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum Germany: Older People as Contributors in Art Education Programs.
  7. Fiona Kinsey & Liza Dale-Hallett, Museum Victoria, Australia: The Material Culture and Memories of Manufacturing Melbourne. 
  8. Ann Rowson Love & Maureen Zaremba, Florida State University & the Ringling Museum: Older Adults’ Experience as Volunteers. 
  9. Ronna Tulgan Ostheimer, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute: One Museum’s Experience in Setting Up a Program for People with Dementia and their Carers.
  10. Sonja Power, The National Trust, UK: The Contributions of Older People to Volunteering. 
  11. Jessica Sack, Yale University Art Gallery: Intergenerational Teaching and Learning in the Museum. 
  12. Elizabeth Sharpe & Marla Miller, University of Massachusetts: Making Memories Matter for Amherst Seniors. 
  13. Susan Shifrin, ARTZ Philadelphia: The Museum as a Site of Regeneration for People Living with Dementia.
  14. Ta-Sitthiporn Thongnopnua, Bangkok, Thailand: The CACE Framework for Sustainability and Contribution in an Aging World.
  15. Esme Ward, Manchester Museum: Momentum in Manchester.
  16. Kerry Wilson, Institute of Cultural Capital: The Political Value of Museums in Dementia Care.




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