Art and Technology Collide to Make Art for the Blind a Reality

Uncategorized Dec 30, 2020

Photo caption: Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze is just one of the works of art that have been turned into a 3D relief. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

For those of us who love art, it seems inconceivable that we could live in a world where we couldn’t see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss.

But for the blind, this is an everyday reality. It’s just not possible to see these works of art in a museum or otherwise.

Until now.

Recently, we stumbled upon a story about some 3D printing technology that makes it possible for the blind to “see” famous works of art with the tips of their fingers, just like they do with braille. 

Technology Removes the Barriers

Normally, when a person goes to a museum, touching the paintings isn’t allowed. If such a thing does take place, there are usually unpleasant repercussions that happen. 

According to a story on Voice of America, this was the experience of Romeo Edmead. He relayed a story about a museum trip with his grandmother. He accidentally touched something and immediately, he heard that alarm.

Enter John Olson. His company 3D Photoworks gives the blind access to some of the most famous paintings in the world by creating 3D images of famous paintings by Van Gogh, da Vinci and others.

The 3D printing process required to make these three-dimensional paintings a reality takes several weeks, but for the blind, the effects can be profound. For the first time, maybe ever, they can experience and interact with the greatest works of art in history.

But Olsen maintains it means even more than that to them. It also means that they gain a sense of independence and freedom that they didn't have before.

3D Photoworks is involved in many projects, including projects for historical museums, as well as art museums. The company also does other types of 3D constructions as well. 

Video caption: Watch the whole story about this amazing technology. 

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