The Caring Museum

“Ageing is a part of our individual and demographic future. Museums can help us imagine new ideas about ageing and new ways of caring.”
- Peter Whitehouse, Professor of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland and Professor of Medicine (Neurology), University of Toronto.

The Caring Museum: New Models of Engagement with Ageing explores - in a practical way - current and developmental issues in the field of museums, galleries and ageing, with a clear emphasis on the emerging and innovative opportunities which ageing populations present. The book explores both the contribution older people are making to the development of museums and the ways in which museums are increasingly contributing to society in an ageing world.

Population ageing is leading to major social change globally - and population growth is quickest in the oldest age groups. As a result, museums and galleries are having to adapt to the many opportunities and challenges which are already impacting them.

Ageing is often depicted as being all about decline – mental, physical, personal, institutional and social – with little or nothing beneficial in the equation. Yet the reality is much more positive, complex, and nuanced. Museums and galleries have long known and understood that older age does not automatically negate our capacity for creativity, engagement and contribution.

In this important book, leading museum and gallery professionals in the UK, USA, Europe and Australasia share their experience and offer key insights on how to respond to the changes which population-level ageing brings. This is not a passive collection of positive stories but one which recognizes the ups and downs of making the effort to engage with older people.

Book extract: Ten Tips for Successful Reminiscence Sessions

This groundbreaking, 472-page book, with 67 colour illustrations, includes the following chapters:

Dr Peter J Whitehouse, Professor of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland and Professor of Medicine (Neurology), University of Toronto

Hamish Robertson

Working with Older Women Without Families
Eszter Biro, Petofi Museum of Literature, Budapest

Involving Seniors at The Cleveland Museum of Art: Multiple Perspectives
Dale Hilton, Director of Teaching and Learning with Karen Levinsky, Trina Prufer & LeAnne Stuver, Cleveland Museum of Art

Artifact Stories: Making Memories Matter
Elizabeth Sharpe, Public Historian and Museum Educator & Marla Miller, Director, Public History Program, UMass Amherst 

Museums, Memories and Well-Being: How Reminiscence Activities Benefit the Museum and the Community
Helen Fountain, Reminiscence Officer, Museum of Oxford

Perceptions of Our Museum: Older Adult Experience as Volunteers
Ann Rowson Love, Assistant Professor of Museum Education and Exhibitions, Florida State University & Maureen Thomas-Zaremba, Curator of Education, Ringling Museum

Changing Rooms: The Volunteer Contribution at Montacute House
Sonja Power, House and Collections Manager, National Trust (South Somerset)

A Blind Date with Sculptures: Older People as Contributors in Art Programs
Sybille Kastner, Deputy Director of Art Education, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg

Material Culture and Memories: Industrial Heritage Volunteer Projects  
Fiona Kinsey, Senior Curator of Image Collections & Liza Dale-Hallett, Senior Curator Sustainable Futures, Museum Victoria, Australia

The Museum as a Site of Caring and Regeneration for People Living with Dementia
Susan Shifrin, Founding Director, ARTZ Philadelphia

Engaging with Art, Engaging with People
Ronna Tulgan Ostheimer, Director of Adult, School and Community Programs with Sharon Lazerson, Peter Mehlin and Lydia Littlefield, Clark Art Institute, MA

Intergenerational Teaching and Learning in the Museum
Jessica Sack, Senior Associate Curator of Public Education, Yale University Art Gallery

Self-Caring in Later Life
Tine Fristrup, Associate Professor, Department of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark & Sara Grut, Project Manager, Nordic Centre of Heritage Learning and Cretivity, Ostersund, Sweden

Museums and Social Prescribing: Policy Impact on Community Referral in the UK 
Helen Chatterjee, Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences & Linda Thomson, Senior Research Associate, UCL Public and Cultural Engagement, University College London

Momentum: Developing Age-Friendly Manchester, Age-Friendly Culture and Age-Friendly Museums
Esme Ward, Head of Learning and Engagement, Manchester Museum and The Whitworth & Andrea Winn, Curator of Community Exhibitions, Manchester Museum, University of Manchester

The CACE Framework: A Strategy for Art Museums to Thrive and Sustain in an Ageing World
Ta-Sitthiporn Thongnopnua, Florida State University

The Political Value of Museums in Dementia Care
Kerry Wilson, Head of Research, Institute of Cultural Capital, University of Liverpool & Liverpool John Moores University 

Museums and Ageing – The Challenge Ahead

Hamish Robertson

A geographer by training, Hamish Robertson has a unique blend of experience in health, ageing and cultural heritage work, with more than a decade’s research in ageing research, in addition to both visitor and diversity research in Australia. He currently conducts research, publishes and presents on the importance of ageing, disability and cultural diversity for institutions and societies. He is a member of both Museums Australia and Museums Aotearoa.

The Caring Museum: New Models of Engagement with Ageing
Colour illustrations: 67
Size 216 x 140 mm
Date September 2015
Editions £59 [paperback] | £45 [eBook] 
ISBN 978-1-910144-62-6 [paperback] 

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