Several times a year, Escher in The Palace organises special guided tours for those who are blind or visually impaired. Before regular opening hours, between 09.30 and 11.00, we open our doors and take you on a tour of a number of masterpieces from the museum’s permanent exhibition. During the tour, specially trained guides talk about the life and work of Maurits Cornelis Escher. Our blind and visually impaired visitors get to know the artworks in an interactive way and they form an image based on feeling, hearing and imagining. Specially designed relief reproductions and props are used during the tour as an aid to experience the artworks even more intensively.
The museum asked itself the question of how it could make the optical illusions of Escher perceptible to people who are blind or have a visual impairment. The solution was found in a special collaboration with students from the Technasium ISW Hoogeland. The pupils started a conversation in the palace with blind and visually impaired people. A number of solutions have emerged from this. Public Administration students from The Hague University of Applied Sciences then entered into discussions with the pupils and the target group and wrote grant applications for the best solutions.
With the grant award from the municipality of The Hague and Bartiméus, unique pieces have been produced that are used in these dedicated tours to not only make the works by M.C. Escher tangible, but also to make the story behind the artist and his techniques experienceable for people who are blind or visually impaired.
This project has since been continued. This second stage focused on young people. How can Escher’s works be made accessible to this specific target group? The emphasis is on independent museum visits. Alone or together with a sighted person. This resulted in designs for a series of interactive objects that guide visitors by means of audio and let them feel 3D versions of well-known Escher prints. From the results, we chose the three best. The designs were translated into museum objects by a professional design and production agency. The three objects have been given a permanent display on our second floor so that everyone can experience them independently during a visit to the museum.