Memory Spaces Collaborative Conference
In 2012, a team of curators at the Den Gamle By museum in Denmark and a group of researchers based in the Aarhus University Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Center on Autobiographical Memory Research began an innovative form of art therapy utilizing museum settings to engage dementia patients and their care givers. In 2013, the research team published their findings in the Journal of Consciousness and Cognition, concluding that patients recalled more memories in the immersive museum setting. In an effort to learn more about this phenomenon, and to examine the relationship between art and memory, this conference provides a platform for the researchers behind the Den Gamle By program to present their work. This conference is also an opportunity to think about how art history can consider this phenomenon historically and in the contemporary sphere, and to explore how an interdisciplinary team of researchers including art historians can create low-cost spaces for dementia sufferers and their caregivers in New York City and beyond. This conference is organized by Dr. Alexander Nagel and second-year M.A. student Sarah Mallory.
Session I: 2:00 - 3:30
Museums and Dementia Therapies
Introduction: Alexander Nagel, Sarah Mallory
The Scandinavian Idea of Open Air Museums and Their Use by the Public; Memory and Artifacts: What is the Language of Artifacts?: Tove Engelhardt Mathiassen and Martin Brandt Djupdræt
The First Courses for Elderly Suffering from Dementia in Den Gamle By: Tove Engelhardt Mathiassen and Henning Lindberg
Making the House of Memory: A Flat Designed for Elderly with Dementia: Tove Engelhardt Mathiassen
The Dementia Programs in the House of Memory: Henning Lindberg
Break: 3:30 - 3:45
Session II: 3:45 - 5:00
Objects, Memory, and Dementia
The Effect of the Method at Den Gamle By: Research in Autobiographical Memory Using Interior and Objects: Dorthe Berntsen
Programs for Caregivers and Students in the House of Memory: Henning Lindberg
An International Dementia and Museum Project: Active Aging and Heritage in Adult learning (AHA): Martin Brandt Djupdræt
Results from AHA and Other Ideas: Martin Brandt Djupdræt and Dorthe Berntsen
Conclusion and Perspective: Sarah Mallory
Dorthe Berntsen is a professor of psychology at Aarhus University. She is the director of the Center on Autobiographical Memory Research, which is a Center of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation.
Martin Brandt Djupdræt is head of research and presentation at Den Gamle By. He is responsible for the development of content, including programs for people with dementia and other groups which seldom use museums.
Henning Lindberg is head of the department of living history and the department of reminiscence at Den Gamle By (awarded in 2016 with the NCK pedagogical prize for his international work with people with dementia).
Tove Engelhardt Mathiassen is curator at Den Gamle By. She has special responsibility for the history of private life, the collections of historical dress and textiles, the early period rooms of the museum and historical gardens.