onvergetelijk stedelijk

In April 2013 the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, in collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, started a special program for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers:  Onvergetelijk Stedelijk. Onvergetelijk Stedelijk is based on the successful Meet Me at MoMA program of the Museum of Modern Art in New York


The Museum makes art accessible for people with Alzheimer's disease (and other forms of dementia) and their caregivers. Together you look at art from the collection, in a relaxed and positive atmosphere. Join a conversation on the works and get inspired by creative assignments. Onvergetelijk Stedelijk, with a different theme every month, is carried out by specially trained museum guides.

Date: every first Monday of the month
Time: 14:30 to 16:00 hours
Price: € 7.50 per participant, including entrance        
Language: Dutch
Reservations are required and can be made by phone (020 5732 741) or e-mail (educatie@stedelijk.nl). 

This tour can also be booked as an activity on other days, if requested at least two weeks prior to the desired date.
Duration: 1.5 hours
Price: € 82,50 for a group of maximum 14 people, including entrance
Book by phone (020 5732 741) or e-mail (educatie@stedelijk.nl).


More and more people have to deal with dementia and Alzheimer's disease in a direct or indirect way. Still there is no cure for this. Looking at art offers participants the possibility to share ideas without relying on their short-term memory and provides access to long-term memory and personal experiences. Moreover, looking at art stimulates the brains through cognitive exercise - research shows that this has a positive effect on one’s health.

The Onvergetelijk Stedelijk program consists of interactive tours in the museum. Looking at art in an interactive way offers people who are dealing with Alzheimer's disease the opportunity to express themselves and to engage in a dialogue with their environment. Special about this program is that it not only leads to an improvement in the quality of life of the person with Alzheimer's disease, but it also has positive effects on the caregiver and the relationship between them. Furthermore the museum offers a safe and inspiring environment to get in touch with peers. During the program the focus lays on the positive, creative and inspiring, not the disease.


The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven see it as their social responsibility to make museums accessible to the widest possible audience, and gladly share this view with other institutions. Supported by a grant from the Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds, the museums therefore started an implementation and training program in 2014 in which the successful Alzheimer's program Onvergetelijk, is established in 10 other museums in the Netherlands.

The Dutch museum sector was very eager to participate in this unique implementation and training program. Focussing on aspects such as national distribution, accessibility and variety - the program is not just for art museums - the following 10 museums were chosen:

- Centraal Museum, Utrecht

- CODA Museum, Apeldoorn

- Drents Museum, Assen

- Limburgs Museum i.s.m. Museum van Bommel van Dam, Venlo

- Mauritshuis, The Hague

- Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

- Museum Dr8888, Drachten

- Natura Docet Wonderryck Twente Denekamp

- Singer Laren, Laren

- Zeeuws Museum, Middelburg

During a 3 year period, a designated project employee is in each museum for 2 to 3 months to fully implement the program. During this short period, all museum employees are informed about the program and the museum educators and volunteers are trained intensively in the Onvergetelijk methodology. During the subsequent pilot phase, the guides and volunteers are observed and evaluated. A kick-off, in which the Onvergetelijk program is presented to local healthcare providers, case managers, doctors and other interested parties, concludes each implementation phase. After 2 to 3 months, the program is ready to be booked by the target audience.

At the end of the 3 year period, as soon as the program has been implemented in the 10 selected museums, the Stedelijk Museum and the Van Abbemuseum will develop a publication and website with reflections and results. The publication and website will give museums that were not able to participate in the project practical tools and theoretical guidance to individually establish a similar program for people with dementia and their caregivers. The Stedelijk and Van Abbemuseum hope that the 10 Onvergetelijk museums listed above will support museums in their own province with these endeavours, working from their experience with the program. Naturally, the Stedelijk Museum and the Van Abbemuseum will be able to provide expert advice upon request.


Aside from the implementation project, the Gieskes Strijbis Fonds has also made it possible to conduct a 3 year scientific study concerning the development and outcomes of the Onvergetelijk program. The results of this study can help other museums to develop programs for visitors with special needs, and give the medical field more understanding of the value of arts and culture for our daily lives. The VU University Medical Center is the research partner of the Azheimers's program.


Onvergetelijk Stedelijk is made possible by:

Research partner of the Alzheimer’s program: