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Art Museums Are Creating 3D Versions of Paintings for Visually Impaired People To Touch

At the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, they have versions of paintings so that blind visitors can still enjoy the art from r/mildlyinteresting

Art museums across the world are making it possible for people with visual impairments to enjoy the collections they house. Through innovative, tactile versions of well-known paintings, those who are blind or have low vision can experience the work with touch. This allows them to “see” how the figures of a piece are composed and the artistic style, and, in a larger sense, it's an opportunity for them to participate in an activity that was previously reserved only for sighted people.

Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus is one of the world’s most famous paintings and is a sight to behold as the heavenly figure of Venus radiates from the center of the artwork. Housed at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, this is one example of work that has been translated into a three-dimensional version. It resides next to the painting as a relief sculpture. Someone touching it will be able to feel Venus as well as the west wind, Zephyr, the nymph, Chloris, and Horai holding the flowing dress. This iconic scene is made more beautiful with its inclusivity.

Scroll down to see more examples of tactile artwork intended for the visually impaired. And if you love this idea, be sure to check out miniature sculptures that are in front of monuments; they help visually impaired people explore architecture.

Museums are making art accessible for visually impaired people by turning paintings into 3D sculptures they can touch.

This museum in Berlin has ‘touchable’ versions of their paintings for blind people from r/mildlyinteresting

At the Prado, Blind Visitors Can Touch Masterpieces

The Belvedere museum in Vienna has 3D tactile models and Braille so even the visually impaired can enjoy Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss”: seen today in Vienna, read more about the EU-project here: https://www.belvedere.at/en/gustav-klimts-kiss-your-fingertips-0 from r/Damnthatsinteresting

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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