Emphasizing Observation in a Gallery Program for Blind and Low-Vision Visitors: Art Beyond Sight at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Bridget O'Brien Hoyt


The article recreates a gallery conversation with blind and low-vision visitors focused on The Judgment of Solomon, (c. 1640) by Matthias Stomer. Rather than passively receiving the interpretations of the facilitator, participants work together to build an understanding of the painting as a whole from the details described. The article goes on to give a history of the program's development including a nuanced evaluation of the merits of handling objects as an aid to comprehension.

Key words: Museum access for the blind and visually impaired, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, art education for the blind, verbal descriptions of visual art.  Audio description of visual art, guided description. 



museum access for the blind and visually impaired; Museum of Fine Arts; Houston; art education for the blind; verbal descriptions of visual art; audio description of visual art; guided description

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v33i3.3737

Copyright (c) 2013 Bridget O'Brien Hoyt

Volume 1 through Volume 20, no. 3 of Disability Studies Quarterly is archived on the Knowledge Bank site; Volume 20, no. 4 through the present can be found on this site under Archives.

Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact libkbhelp@lists.osu.edu.

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)