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More than Meets the EyeWhat Blindness Brings to Art$
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Georgina Kleege

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190604356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190604356.001.0001

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Touch Tourism

Touch Tourism

(p.60) 4 Touch Tourism
More than Meets the Eye

Georgina Kleege

Oxford University Press

The chapter begins with an account of a touch tour at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and goes on to describe similar programs elsewhere. These programs vary widely in terms of their understanding and expectations of blind perception. I will also discuss sites that require visitors to interact with architecture or landscape nonvisually. The “Cathedrals through Touch and Sound” program in England promotes recognition that appreciating architecture engages senses beyond sight. Similarly, a topiary reproduction of Georges Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” though not designed for blind visitors, gives a tactile and kinaesthetic understanding of the painting’s perspective and composition. Ultimately, the chapter calls on museum educators to find ways to collect the observations of blind visitors. Since everyone does not have the opportunity to touch the art, it makes sense to capture the insights of those who do in the interest of enlarging cultural knowledge.

Keywords:   blindness, tactile perception, museum access, touch tours, MOMA, Fayen D’Evie

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