Wartburg Adult Care Community

Dr. Emily Bloom, a Sarah Lawrence College Public Humanities Fellow and faculty member, is collaborating with the Wartburg Adult Care Community in Mount Vernon, New York, to connect undergraduates and seniors in a series of conversations about objects, memories, and the things that matter to us all.​

Group photo of students and seniors at Wartburg

Starting in the fall 2021 semester, Bloom launched an oral history project that uses objects—whether historical, aesthetic, or personal—to help Wartburg residents share their stories with Sarah Lawrence students, family members, fellow residents, and Wartburg staff. The project focuses on identifying evocative objects that can allow us to tap into memories, ideas, and beliefs and to communicate them with each other. As part of this project, there are opportunities for lifelong learning alongside college students, a recurring podcast featuring Wartburg residents’ stories produced by Sarah Lawrence students, and an “object-of-the month” series of discussions, talks, and activities. Read the Object Lessons newsletter from December 2021

Students engaged in the Wartburg oral history project with Bloom come from her two seminar classes for the 2021-22 academic year: Care Work and Objects and Memory.


Objects and Memory Podcast Series

Cathie Behrend, Zacharie Ledoux, and Melody Reudiger

In a conversation with students Zacharie Ledoux and Melody Reudiger, Wartburg resident Cathie Behrend describes how a small ornament that resembles a treadle sewing machine evokes a sense of family, work ethic, and generational connection.

Helen Byrnes, Annie Bingham, and Sophie Hammond

Wartburg resident Helen Byrnes flips through the pages of a photobook showcasing the home she lived in for nearly 60 years, sharing stories from each room of the house with students Annie Bingham and Sophie Hammond.

Rob Byrnes, Lee Brown, and Christine DuFur

In a conversation with students Lee Brown and Christine DuFur, Wartburg resident Rob Byrnes is prompted by his Regis High School yearbook to tell a story of lifelong learning and friendship that began in his teens.

Gloria McGalagly, Adam Stockman, and Gwyneth Sauvage

Gloria McGalagly shares with students Adam Stockman and Gwyneth Sauvage a record album—and memories—from the Choraleers, an all-female group she sang and traveled with during her college years.

Mary Alice O'Brien and Alexandra Moore

Wartburg resident Mary Alice O'Brien and student Alexandra Moore talk about the importance of photography when dealing with objects and memory while poring over photos from Mary Alice's youth.