3D Scale Models reproduce Siza Viera’s artworks to the visually impaired public

Six paintings by the plastic artist Maria Helena Vieira da Silva were reproduced in 3 dimensions, so as to be accessible, through touch, to the blind, or low-vision public that visits the Arpad Szenes Museum - Vieira da Silva, in Lisbon. 

These “new artworks” are a responsibility of the plastic artist Carlos No and represent to the visually impaired people “an opportunity to perceive an abstract painting in a more autonomous and objective way, of trying to understand it more through the eyes of who painted it, and not so much through those of who describes it”, as highlighted by the Social Inclusion Secretary of State, Ana Sofia Antunes, during the presentation of the project “Museum for All”, on the 8th of November, 2018. To execute the mission, Carlos No worked blindfolded in several moments.  

Museu para Todos (Museum for All) is a project developed by the Arpad Szenes Foundation – Vieira da Silva, which counted on the support of the Solidary EDP Program – Social Inclusion, having the sponsorship of the Secretary of State for Inclusion of People with Handicaps. ACAPO - Associação dos Cegos e Amblíopes de Portugal (Portuguese Association of the Blind and Partially-Sighted) was responsible for the technical support.  

The initiative contemplates the improvement of access to the physical space (adequate lighting system, signposting adapted to special needs public; embossed floor plans of the exhibitive spaces, with subtitles in Braille), and access to cultural contents produced by the Museum (adaptation of key-artworks of the museum’s collection to three-dimensional models, braille scripts with information about works and  artists’ biographies, and the use of tables with a larger font). Replicas of the project in other institutions of the country are also intended, with the roaming of three-dimensional models created, aiming at promoting the life and work of the artists Maria Helena Vieira da Silva e Arpad Szenes, particularly to the public with special needs.

The Arpad Szenes Museum - Vieira da Silva – managed by a Foundation with the same name – was opened in November 1994, having as a great objective the promotion and study of Maria Helena Vieira da Silva’s work (1908-1992), and that of her husband, Arpad Szenes (1897-1985), two relevant artists in the Portuguese history of art. In 2011, EDP Foundation became the Main Patron of this Institution’s programming.

15 Jan 2019