News — 27 Feb 2013

In April 2013, in collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam will launch a special program for people with Alzheimer’s and their care-givers. The project is inspired by the ‘Meet Me at MoMA’ program of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The number of people facing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, both directly and indirectly, is on the increase. Currently, there are no cures for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The Alzheimer program offers art as ‘medicine’. For a person with Alzheimer’s, looking at art is an opportunity for exploring and sharing ideas without relying on short-term memory and gives access to long-term memory and personal experiences. Looking at art also stimulates the brain through cognitive exercise, which research has shown to have health benefits.

The Stedelijk Museum and the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven have joined forces to introduce the successful program from New York, designed for people with Alzheimer’s and their care-givers, to the Netherlands. The Alzheimer program focuses on interactive guided tours in the museums. Looking at art interactively gives those with Alzheimer’s an opportunity for self-expression, and encourages them to enter into dialogue with the world around them. Notably, the Alzheimer program not only enhances the quality of life of the Alzheimer patient, it also brings benefits to the care-giver, and to the relationship between the two. With this, the museum offers a safe and inspiring environment for people to meet others in the same situation. During the program, the emphasis lies on positivity, creativity and inspiration, not on the negative aspects and not on the illness.

To promote awareness of this extraordinary program, the Stedelijk Museum is organizing a kick-off on Wednesday 27 February with presentations by speakers including Meryl Schwartz and Laurel Humble of the MoMA and Professor Henry Weinstein of the Alzheimer Center at the VU medical center on “Kunst en de Hersenen”(“Art and the Brain”).

The event is invitation-only.

PROGRAM

13.30 - 14.00 guests arrive at the main entrance of the Stedelijk Museum, Museumplein 10
14.00 - 14.15 word of welcome on behalf of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven by Karin van Gilst, General Director of the Stedelijk Museum
14.15 - 14.45 presentation “Kunst en de Hersenen” by Professor Henry Weinstein, of the Alzheimer Center at the VU medical center
14.45 - 15.45 presentation “Meet Me” by Meryl Schwartz and Laurel Humble of the Museum of Modern Art,  New York
15.45 - 16.00 Q & A session
16.00 - 16.30 practical demonstration by museum docents in the museum
16.30 - 17.30 end and drinks

The event is invitation-only.