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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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What They Talk About When They Talk About Art

What They Talk About When They Talk About Art

(p.109) 8 What They Talk About When They Talk About Art
More than Meets the Eye

Georgina Kleege

Oxford University Press

This chapter will explore the possibilities and pitfalls involved in verbal description of art for a blind audience. Since the vast majority of any museum’s holdings cannot be touched, access programs for the blind rely on verbal description of painting, drawing, prints, photography, and the majority of sculpture. But is it possible to put a picture into words, and will those words be meaningful to someone who cannot see? This chapter provides a close reading of the audio tours at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, comparing tracks for mainstream auditors to those created for blind people and children. I include recommendations from blind artists on how best to describe art.

Keywords:   blindness, audio description, verbal imaging, MOMA, Alice Wingwall, David Johnson, Carmen Papalia

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