Art + Dementia

The Art and Dementia program provides people living with dementia with an opportunity to connect with the world in enriching and life-enhancing ways. People living with dementia often become isolated.

A discussion-based tour of works of art provides intellectual stimulation and social inclusion. Participants are able to contribute knowledge, engage in interpretation, express emotions and recall memories. Participation can lead to an increase in wellbeing and quality of life.  

Established in 2007, the Art and Alzheimer's program at the National Gallery of Australia was renamed in 2015 to reflect the many types of dementia. The Art and Dementia program includes a variety of tours to suit people with different living arrangements and capabilities. The Gallery works closely with community-based health professionals, residential care providers and directly with people living with dementia in the community to provide the program.

Aims of the Art and Dementia program:

  • To promote wellbeing and quality of life through engagement with the visual arts.
  • To provide intellectual stimulation in a socially inclusive environment.
  • To reconnect people living with dementia to their sense of identity.
  • To build community arts and health partnerships to improve the care for people living with dementia.
  • To raise awareness of and reduce the social stigma associated with dementia.

The Gallery’s philosophy for all access programs is reflected in the Art and Dementia tours, which focus on the participants’ abilities – abilities that often elicit surprise or joy in their carers.

Join us in one of the tours the Gallery offers for individuals and their carer, community groups or residential care groups.

The Gallery provides professional development and training for visual arts and health care workers.

Introduction to the program

The Art and Alzheimer's DVD is an introduction to the program offered to gallery visitors living with dementia.

The understanding, communication and positive approach by Gallery educators when delivering these tours can be seen in this six-minute video, Art and Alzheimer's at the National Gallery . The joy and enthusiasm shared by the visitors with dementia is compelling.

NGA Art and Dementia Flickr photo stream


Adriane Boag
Program coordinator
Learning and Access
02 6240 6632
[email protected] | [email protected]