Ann Blokland, Senior Curator of Education at The Van Gogh Museum

Feeling Van Gogh: making Vincent van Gogh’s art accessible

In 2015 the Van Gogh Museum launched Feeling Van Gogh, a special programme for blind and partially sighted visitors and their sighted friends, family and companions. It consists of an interactive guided tour and a multi-sensory workshop, using different interpretive media to open up the artist’s world, which before was not accessible to them.
 
One of the main objectives of the Van Gogh Museum is making Vincent van Gogh’s life and art accessible to as many people as possible. Feeling Van Gogh is an important step forward in achieving this. Connecting with the artworks by appealing to touch and various other senses and discussing Van Gogh’s art together results in a very positive effect on how people with impaired vision experience art. And we should start at young age, planting seeds for the future.  Teaching and discovering art is as important as math or grammar; it inspires and enriches – and might even change your life.

In this session Ann will talk about how they worked with setting up the programme. How they carried out tests with people who are blind and partially sighted in order to achieve the best possible experience when lunching the programme. She will also present how they worked with different materials, such as the Relievos - a premium quality 3D reproductions of Van Gogh’s paintings. You will learn what art needs to be interpreted and discovered successfully for this audience. Ann will then present what they have learned from the programme and what their next step is. 

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