Citymuseum Oldenburg

Tactilely precious

Two valuable paintings from the permanent collection of the Citymuseum Oldenburg are no longer just a feast for the eyes. The tactile paintings from the “inkl Idea Workshop” invite you to grasp them on all levels. Literally.

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Touch me! The little girl in the magnificent robe is just three years old when her parents had the portrait of the “Little Princess” painted by Pieter Leermanns. A sumptuously designed view of the good match that the little one will one day be. An advertisement for those hoping to get married. The second painting shows a classical Italian landscape. Decorative column ruins, lovely hills, a body of water. These two completely different masterpieces were created to be experienced by blind and visually challenged people.

As a logical development of our inclusive painting guide we have developed tactile paintings. In combination with an accompanying booklet, which introduces the contents of the paintings step by step, as well as extensive audio descriptions of the pictures, the enjoyment of art leaves nothing to be desired.

Framed by an artistic relief frame, a colour print of the original painting lies under a highly transparent key relief. Touchable dots at the lower edge of the paintings serve as orientation for the picture description on the associated audio track.

Starting from concise details, the complex pictures can be experienced in a structured way. Information about the tulip at the bottom of the picture, the meaning of the little white dog, the fact that the three-year-old is painted like an adult woman, give deep insights into the symbolism of the painting. All audio texts have been produced in collaboration with art historians of the museum.

In addition, each picture is accompanied by a printed supplement in Braille and black. Here blind people will find a QR code that makes the audio files available with the help of a smartphone. For people who do not use a smartphone, the same information can be retrieved from the museum’s audio tour device.

Unlike conventional exhibitions, our paintings do not hang on the wall, but are displayed on a wheelchair accessible desk. The booklet and the tactile paintings are available as a set in a wooden case, made to measure in a sheltered workshop for people with disabilities.

As with all of our groundbreaking projects, we do not rely on our gut feeling at inkl, but consult the experts of everyday life at every step. The palpable paintings were also created in cooperation with blind and visually impaired people from Oldenburg. Your suggestions and ideas are our measure.

Tactile Paintings

Photo of the tactile painting "The little princess" with frame in front of a grey background
Photo with detail of the lower right part of the tactile painting "The Little Princess" with depiction of the white dog and the symbolic tulip
Photo of a detail of the touch painting "The little princess" showing the festively dressed girl with a bouquet of flowers
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Listen here to the text of the interpretation of the painting “Little Princess” by the painter Pieter Leermanns

Photo of the tactile painting "Painter in front of a Roman ruin" with frame in front of grey background
Photo with detail from the lower left margin of the tactile painting "Painter in front of a Roman ruin", on which a hand feels a group of figures
Photo with cutout from the upper left margin of the tactile painting "Painter in front of a Roman ruin", on which a group of trees can be recognized
Photo of the touch painting and the tactile accompanying booklet "Painter in front of a Roman ruin" with enclosed hearing pen on grey table surface
Photo of the tactile booklet accompanying the painting "Painter in front of a Roman ruin" on grey tabletop

A glance at the booklets

Photo with detail of the tactile accompanying booklet "painter in front of a Roman ruin", on which the combination of Braille and black letters is easily recognizable
Photo with detail of the tactile painting "painter in front of a Roman ruin", on which the tactile structure of the figures of the painter and his companion is clearly visible
Photo of the tactile booklet of the "Little Princess" with enclosed hearing pen on grey table surface
Photo with detail of the "Little Princess", on which one hand feels the outline of the princess
Detail photo of the tactile accompanying booklet of the "Little Princess" with representation of the combination of Braille and black writing
Detail photo with close-up view of the "Little Princess" on the title of the tactile accompanying booklet
Photo of the accompanying booklet of the "Little Princess", on which the structure of the relief prints is well recognizable
Photo of the tactile painting "The little princess" and the accompanying booklet

Inclusion in use

Photo of a sitting blind woman touching a painting lying in front of her with her hands.
Photo of a tactile painting that is palpated by two hands. Photo with lateral view of a woman scanning the edge of a tactile painting
Photo with a view from above of a table on which a tactile painting and the accompanying booklet with tactile illustrations and a hearing aid pen are located.
Detail photo of two hands scanning the surface of a tactile painting.
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Project details

Client: Stadtmuseum Oldenburg

Project period: 2018

Project partners: Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired Lower Saxony e.v.

Project specifications: Didactic concept for conveying the contents of the painting to blind and visually challenged people, planning and implementation of 2 tactile paintings including product design and 3D data creation, graphic design of one accompanying booklet each with detailed tactile illustrations, creation of extensive audio description texts for image description suitable for blind and visually challenged people, production of audio files, production support and monitoring