Seven ladies and gentlemen from the Blind People's Association are sitting next to one another in two rows in an exhibition room of the State Museum Schwerin. The camera is close to the people. Some paintings can be noticed on the walls behind them. The three women in the first row are having a ball. Two of them are holding are holding each a clipboard in their hands. Attached to the clipboards is swell paper. It shows an embossed detail of the painting guide. More specifically, they are feeling and touching the felt cap of the scholar in the painting The Geographer, which seems to be hovering on his head. A lapse of the painter or was the headwear added later to cover the big forehead of the scholar? This will hardly be solved, but it is funny either way. The visit of the museum is coming to an end. An experience, which enabled them to discover a museum like other people, to smell the air of the exhibition rooms and to find out about aspects worth knowing about painting with the help of a skilled guide.

Museum for All

Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits." (Article 27, Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations). This Human Right has first been agreed upon by the community of nations in 1948.

More than fifty years later an enjoyable visit to a museum can - for many people - not at all be taken for granted. Disabled people are still facing numerous small or big obstacles or hurdles when they are trying to make use of their right of participation in cultural life and enjoyment of art.

Meanwhile there are many attempts to change this.

Other ways of interior design are applied, different media offer explanations and new systems grant orientation. Anything is done to meet the individual needs of museum visitors, while aiming at a better way to show and present the content. In general, museums nowadays focus on enjoyment and the experience of new impressions, but to make this experience also accessable for disabled people is an art of its own.

Artfully, the multisensory guidebook on art of "The Golden Age" is obliged to address all senses. Regardless of whether the users are people who can see, people with visual disabilities or blind people the book carries everybody off into the world of Dutch painting. It wants to gather the visitors of the State Museum Schwerin, but also all other readers, in front of the works of the Dutch masters and invites them to a mutual exploration.

The authors and designers of this book hope to thereby set a good example for many other projects, which make mutual indulgence and enjoyment of art and science possible.

Aufkleber klein