Don't we all want to touch museum objects sometimes? Even as a veteran display analyst and card-carrying art historian, I can sometimes hardly keep my hands to myself. And what about visitors who need to perceive by touch—the blind and sight-impaired? Very slowly, museums are starting to install displays that are accessible to these groups. At the Berlinische Galerie, a recent exhibition of paintings and works on paper used a new technology to make an important painting touchable: the painting was reproduced (3-D printed?) with all its surface textures, and mounted horizontally in a pedestal by a bench in front of the original. In addition, the reproduction was given extra relief in order to make the two female figures stand out from the background; their arms and shoulders were slightly raised, their chins made pointy. Visitors of any sort—sighted or not, with kids or not, art historian or not—can revel in the chance to finally put their hands on a masterpiece!
Ideas on Display
A humble space to reflect on concepts of museum display as enacted across a wide range of subjects, countries, and approaches.