Can an art museum help in combating loneliness? | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-2457
  • E-ISSN: 2040-2465



This article discusses two research projects, which took place during the period 2012–2015 at the Storm P. Museum. The projects were headed by Iben Overgaard and Nelli Sørensen. The intention was to study how the museum space can contribute towards an inclusive environment that stimulates the creation of communities between socially lonely people. The first project was an art workshop for mentally vulnerable adults who were often stigmatized and therefore felt socially excluded. The second project was a reminiscence workshop for lonely elderly people in which the participants talked about their own life-experience and discussed the influence Storm P’s art had had on their family and on social culture in Copenhagen, while the museum contributed with narratives about Storm P’s art and life. Both projects emerged from a wish to study how workshops in a museum context could enable participation in activities that both stimulate relational processes and contribute to the participants’ experience of greater meaning in their lives. The projects were funded by The Danish Agency for Culture and Frederiksberg Municipality. The projects provided a space for collaboration between the museum and the target groups. The participants found the art and reminiscence projects at the museum meaningful, both socially and culturally. We found that the Storm P. Museum has potential as an agent of social inclusion via co-creation, and that museums may address community building and recovery. The projects proved to be mutually beneficial, as participants had life-enriching experiences and felt less lonely, while the museum and the researchers gained valuable sociocultural knowledge.


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