Already since 1985 holds Mr. Franz Salzmann, manager of the residential home for the elderly in Amstetten (Austria), talk evenings on the topic "How it was in former times". The participants developed during the topic "Easter tradition" the idea to collect old Easter postcards.
As cornerstone of the collected served 20 Easter postcards from the time during 1910 and 1925 which the grandmother of the manager has kept in a box on her attic. The collection was expanded by Easter postcards which the residents, relatives and the staff collected. The project was presented on a local radio station and a call was sent to motivate the listeners to collect and send Easter postcards to the team.
The collection held about 300 old Easter postcards at the fast 1998. The oldest cards were at that time exact 100 years old. A team consisting of the manager, the carer of the seniors and about 15 residents determined the age of the cards and sorted them by age. This work was great fun for the residents because they got in contact with old stamps and saw "kurrent" script again after so many years. Memories on the own writing of Easter postcards came back too.
At the Easter time in 1998 the exhibition was opened by vice-chancellor Dr. Alois Mock. The residents enjoyed to guide the visitors through the exhibition.
Every year since then the manager of the residential home for the elderly presented the international Easter Postcard Exhibition in another country at Easter time. In 1999 the exhibition was hold in the "Capelse Verpleeghuizen" in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The exhibition was opened by the Austrian ambassador Dr. Alexander Christiani. At easter time in 2000 the Easter postcards could be seen in the "Haus am Weinberg" in Stuttgart, Germany. A year later the exhibition stopped in the south of Sweden in the "Stattenahemmet" in Helsingborg.
In 2002 the Easter Postcards could be seen in the "Casa di Riposo" in Pergine near Trient (Italy). An Italian TV channel made a reportage about the Exhibition and its background. Greece was the next country. 2003 the location for the Exhibition was on the island Kreta during the orthodox Easter time. In this place the postcards with religious themes gained special interest.
A noble residential home for the elderly named "El Castellot" in Mallorca, Spain, was the next place where the Exhibition took place.
In the mid of March 2005 the Easter Postcards were presented in Luxemburg. For the first time the exhibition was shown in two places. The first stop was Diekirch and Remich the second one.
The touring Exhibition stopped 2006 during the greek-orthodox Eastertime 2006 on the island Cyprus.
2007 already 10th Easter Postcard Exhibition - in Finland.
So what first started as therapy for seniors developed through the years to the international Easter Postcard Exhibition which is known to a lot of Austrians because it gained big interest in the media.
Since Germany's most read professional journal for residential homes for the elderly "Altenpflege" published a long reportage in 2000 (Page 1 / 2 / 3) the Exhibition is known in Germany as well. Also the local newspaper in Stuttgart brought an article (Part 1 / 2) about it.
Besides the Easter Postcard Exhibition there is another project which is carried out by the residential home for the elderly in Amstetten. It is called "Mostviertler Dialekt" and deals with the preservation of the local dialect. On the homepage of the project you can find a so called "Rote Liste" which lists over 2500 words with an audio example for each one.
Connection to the outside world: Invitation to the Exhibition to outsidersTo make yourself helpful: Through collaboration, self-esteem
Things are never as they seem: The Easter Postcard Exhibition varies from year to year. Because the residents of the residential home for the elderly should feel like it is their exhibition the form of lead through (arrangement, length of time) varies from year to year. Partially the residential homes for the elderly begin months before with the collection of old domestic Easter postcards to show them in the Exhibition.
The Easter Postcard Exhibition in your place
As a basic principle the Exhibition will only take place in a country where it never has been. If you have interest in organizing the Exhibition then please visit this page.