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© Hilfsgemeinschaft
Foto: ©Patrick Winkler

Art opens the eyes and awakens emotions!

»As an institution dedicated to inclusion, the Kunsthistorisches Museum has long been dedicated to making every effort to enable all our visitors to enjoy our rich collections by ensuring barrier-free access for visitors with disabilities. No matter if with visual or cognitive impairment – the opportunity for the shared viewing and contemplation of art and the possibility to become actively creative in the atelier open new perspectives and stimulate the senses.«

In order to be able to design the educational programs in the best way possible and to ensure barrier-free access, the team of the Art Education Department took part in an Erasmus+Mobility Program. The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of its contents which reflect the views only of the authors. The Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

The “Hilfsgemeinschaft der Blinden und Sehschwachen Österreichs” trained the employees of the Kunsthistorische Museum in dealing with visually impaired people through special sensitisation training.

Guided tours for visually impaired people

Talking about two-dimensional artworks is something of a challenge for our art educators. Explore the masterpieces of the Picture Gallery alone or together with an art educator! Specially-devised material combining tactile images and foils and audio descriptions offer valuable support in this endeavour. The more senses we stimulate for the perception of the visual arts, the more vivid and comprehensive are their effects.

Seeing Things Differently Together!

This publication is devised in such a way that people with or without impaired sight may explore Old Masters with all their senses, both alone and in conversation with others. It presents four masterpieces from the Picture Gallery in combination with stimulating visual, tactile and audio elements.

It comprises total views of the four compositions in colour-enhanced contrasts, transparent tactile foils, details of the paintings in graded outlines and descriptions of the composition in both clearly legible, large black-and-white script and Braille, offering a plethora of gateways to experience these two-dimensional artworks.

In addition, the book includes a CD in an easy-to-handle polybag comprising a classical audio file, and a second CD in Daisy format with additional information (duration c. 80 min.). The Museum Book is the only one of its kind in Austria.

Available in the museum shops or online for € 39,95.

Experiencing Paintings

The Kunsthistorisches Museum offers blind and visually-impaired visitors a new way an artwork’s explore paintings. Until now, they could only experience the subject matter through an intensive dialogue with a companion. But specialized new technologies have transposed paintings into tactile reliefs, allowing visitors actually to feel the basic elements of the painted composition. These novel impressions are augmented by oral explanations provided by one of our educators. In addition, we offer a brochure in Braille that comprises both a description of the artwork written especially for the blind and the visually-impaired, and additional information on the respective artwork. Various objects connected in some way with the painting supply additional tactile stimulation, and further enhance these new impressions.

The project was generously supported by the Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur as part of its education initiative “Kulturvermittlung mit Schulen in Bundesmuseen 2010”; chaperoned by KulturKontakt Austria; and realized in connection with VRVis Zentrum für Virtual Reality und Visualisierung Forschungs GmbH.

Memorable Events

The Kunstkammer of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna is one of the greatest collections of its kind in the world, celebrated for a wealth of artworks assembled by connoisseurs from the house of Habsburg. It comprises unusual natural objects and exceptional examples of outstanding craftsmanship – among them artefacts made of precious, often exotic, materials such as gold, silver, rock crystal, ostrich eggs, coconuts or shark’s teeth; participants in our barrier-free tours are invited to touch some of these materials to explore the world of princely collectors.

Ephesus – Home of one of the Wonders of the Ancient World

Everybody has heard of the magnificent temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In the late 19th century Austrian archaeologists began to dig at Ephesus, uncovering one of the great cities in the eastern part of the Roman Empire. The finds excavated in what was once “the pearl of the Middle East” are displayed at the Ephesus Museum; they offer visitors the unique opportunity to study Roman architecture close-up. Temples, baths, a theatre and private houses document ancient Roman elegance and refinement. Wearing fine latex gloves, visitors are invited to touch and explore capitals, decorative reliefs and statues, allowing them to experience “hands-on” the beauty of these architectural elements.

The Age of Chivalry – Traditions and Ideals

The Kunsthistorisches Museum’s Collection of Historical Arms and Armour is one of the best-documented collections of its kind in the West; it comprises suits-of-armour and parade arms as well as sporting or hunting guns. This is the place to go if you are interested in how noblemen from the late Middle Ages to the Baroque spent their time. Of particular interest are the countless examples of magnificent sixteenth-century tournament armour, documenting how well men were able to move despite wearing this precious iron attire. Selected pieces of armour may be touched and tried on.

Carriages with up to 8 HP

The Imperial Carriage Museum houses carriages used by the Imperial court: from magnificent state coaches that document the ruler’s authority to private carriages used by members of the imperial family to coaches for members of the court to vehicles for transporting heavy loads to hunting-, leisure- and children’s carriages. For many centuries, horses and carriages functioned as important status symbols. Members of the court and the nobility drove their formal carriages through the streets of Vienna to celebrate important event in the court or ecclesiastical calendar - a magnificent public spectacle. Until 1918, Vienna’s streets were dominated by countless elegant carriages. Visitors wearing gloves are invited to touch these sumptuous coaches to comprehend complex technical details, construction and the elaborate decorations adorning these elegant conveyances.

Guided tours for people with dementia

The museum as a communicative place for people to meet and for sensual perception offers substantial possibilities for releasing people with dementia from their internal isolation, at least for a few hours. Draw inspiration from the stories of the pictures, colours and forms and let yourself be enchanted!

Let´s talk about the past!
After a warm welcome in the attractive atmosphere of the atelier the shared art contemplation of carefully chosen paintings in the Gallery begins. Here the focus is not primarily on knowledge mediation, but rather the fact that shared observation invokes associations, stimulates a collective conversation and brings back memories of past times. In the relaxed atmosphere of the atelier the visitors can continue to freely unfold their feelings and thoughts and experience their autonomy in their own artistic creativity.

Please direct any questions or comments to our art education team: T +43 1 525 24 - 5202 or kunstvermittlung@khm.at

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