Touching the Art: Multimodal Exploration of Paintings, Photographs, and Physical Objects
Friday, November 10, 2017 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Venue: Monongahela

The Andy Warhol's Tactile Reproductions: In 2016 The Warhol undertook a partnership with Tactile Reproductions LLC, Prime Access Consulting, and the Innovation Studio of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh to develop new multisensory gallery installations designed to make its collection assets accessible to people who are blind or have low vision. This project sought to break new ground in terms of inclusive design for museums, bringing together technologists, artists, and user experts in an iterative process of creating tactile and audio based interpretive experiences. Using digital imaging software and a computer-numerical-controlled router, the project team created large-scale, durable tactile reproductions of artworks. For each, the museum also authored and recorded an audio track that leads a visitor through the experience of exploring the work through touch. These are made available on Out Loud, The Warhol's inclusive audio guide. Out Loud offers location-based content, is voiceover compatible, and includes visual descriptions of all featured artworks, as well as rich interpretive content.

Ultimately, 14 reproductions have been fabricated and are being installed throughout The Warhol’s permanent collection galleries, illustrating the arc of Warhol's career and practice. These pieces have received overwhelmingly positive reviews from both visually impaired and sighted visitors to the museum, inspiring wonder, delight, and thoughtful engagement. The Warhol will share learnings from this process and reflections on the possibility of creating universally designed experiences with visual art and archival collections in museums.

CMHR's Sight Unseen Project: In February 2016, Sight Unseen at the CMHR was the first museum exhibition in the world to showcase three-dimensional printing technology developed by 3DPhotoWorks in New York as a breakthrough for people with vision loss – allowing them to “see” photographs and fine art with their fingertips. Touch-activated sensors embedded in the prints also provided audio information. In June 2017, CMHR will be opening its second photography exhibition which builds on the lessons learned with additional features making art and photography available to blind people -- continuing to innovate in collaboration with former LIFE magazine photographer John Olson, the co-founder of 3DPhotoWorks, and Sina Bahram, principle at Prime Access Consulting.


Type of Session
60-Minute Professional Session
Session Leader : Sina Bahram, President, Prime Access Consulting
Co-Presenter : Scott Gillam, Manager, Digital Platforms, CMHR
Co-Presenter : Danielle Linzer, Curator of Education and Interpretation, The Andy Warhol Museum