Doctoral Dissertation

19.1.2019 TaM Leena Hannula (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, museology)


19.1.2019 12:00 — 15:00

Location: Seminaarinmaki , S212
TaM Leena Hannula defends her doctoral dissertation in Museology “Visitors and experiences; museological research concerning the Senior Citizen Club of the Sinerbrychoff Art Museum”.

Opponent Senior Lecturer, TaT Anniina Koivurova (University of Lapland) and Custos Professor Janne Vilkuna (University of Jyväskylä, Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies).

The doctoral dissertation is held in Finnish.


Visitors and experiences; museological research concerning the Senior Citizen Club of the Sinerbrychoff Art Museum.

Museums have a diverse selection of professional experts participating in preparation for exhibitions and activities with the public. In museums expectations and experiences concerning the visiting public can vary from extreme openness to very traditional approaches.

This research focuses on the Sinebrychoff Museum’s Senior Citizen Club and its members. What makes people become involved in museum programmes and become regular visitors is the focal point of the study.

When exploring the activities of the visiting public in museums, when seeing a person through operative and practical routines as a ‘client’, a theory of recognition, but also of non-recognition, can be applied. This research concentrates on the third age, and especially on the go-go or slow-go periods, of the senior visitors to the Sinebrychoff Art Museum.

The study is qualitative and is conducted via narrative methods in interviews with regular members of the club. It scrutinizes both the art experiences the members have had and at the same time how they have noticed changes in the museum organization. Their economic situation as well as the process of ageing has caused them some difficulty in participating in the club program.

Constitutional law guarantees for us certain basic rights within the public sector. The government and municipalities have responsibilities for ensuring basic rights, basic services and human rights. Especially in the field of art and culture the public sector has to provide equal possibilities for the elderly to participate and develop themselves via the arts whatever their economic resources. The government creates these opportunities by supporting cultural institutions.

The aim of this research is to show in practice how a museum institution is able to (or fails to) fullfil its responsibility for transmitting cultural heritage, which belongs to all of us.

Keywords: museum studies, human rights, senior citizens, work with the public.