Visual art for the visually impaired

The Capitoline Museum in Rome has several paintings by Caravaggio, a Baroque artist active in the city from around 1594 until shortly before his death in 1610. Caravaggio is known for his realism, earthy colors, and depiction of everyday scenes populated by characters one might encounter on the streets of Rome ca. 1600. The museum has developed a way to share these paintings with visually-impaired visitors through panels that “depict” the painting in raised relief. All visitors are invited to touch these panels to gain a better idea of Carvaggio’s painting which is, by definition, to be “seen.”

  

The painting here is an early work by Caravaggio, The Fortune Teller of ca. 1595.

What do you think of this? What other ways might art museums make their collections available to the visually impaired?

 

How do we get the public to visit?

Marcus Aurelius may seem esoteric to many Americans, but this late 2nd c. CE Roman emperor was a philosopher, and some scholars today consider his Meditations to be one of the most important texts from the ancient world.

Yes…this is interesting and important! But will it bring people to a museum?

The Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, one of Rome’s museums of ancient art, is located in one of the busiest sections of the city…right next to Rome’s main railroad station. Posters showing objects from the museum’s collection together with passages from Hadrian’s writings inform passersby what treasures lie within. Keep in mind…these are not ads but posters with objects from the museum’s collection and philosophical passages about life from Marcus Aurelius’s writings.

Do you think these are inviting? Do you think they bring visitors into the museum? Do you think the goal is to attract visitors, teach the public, something else?