Monday, July 16, 2012

Looking Beyond Sight

The following is a guest post written by Shelburne Museum member Shirley Katz. She and her husband, George, attended an Art at Hand tour for museum visitors who are blind or visually impaired. Here's what she had to say about their experience: 

The Lions Club sponsored a day at Shelburne Museum for the blind and visually impaired. It was a described, hands-on tour of two of the exhibits: The steamboat Ticonderoga and the Lighthouse.


The Ti is very impressive, now "docked" in a grassy basin on the museum grounds.

Museum guides provided replicas (or near-replicas) for everyone to get a feel for the boat. 

Then we boarded the Ti to hear an excellent visual description. The Ti was restored to appear as it may have looked in 1923. The cherry wood paneling and adornments are truly beautiful. As a sighted person, I appreciated this even more as we were invited to feel the detailing.

We even got a feel for what it may have been like to take the controls.

Back to the area just in front of the dining room, we learned more about this magnificent vessel. 

The floor here looks like a puzzle. The guides had a sample piece of what the flooring is really like.

Our guide also pointed out that the carpeting in the dining room looks like it is made up of tiny anchors--very appropriate! Can you see them?

The museum now has two magnifiers for visually impaired people to check out while on a tour. They were generously donated by Ai Squared, and this was the first day they were used. Here Geo is looking at the ceiling while also seeing it up close in the magnifier. 

We walked back for a tour of the Lighthouse before taking the shuttle back to the main entrance.   

Thank you, Shirley! We are offering three additional Art at Hand tours this season. For more information or to register, visit

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