Please Touch the Art
Grasping the beauty of the Museum of Modern Art's collection on a tactile tour for the blind.
His legs were strong and lean. She’d felt his muscular calves and the bones of his knees. She’d touched his thighs, his tense quadriceps contracted mid-stride. His right hand was up in the air but she’d grabbed his other fist down by his waist, caressing the knuckles pointed at the floor. She’d felt surprise, excitement even, standing before this giant man. He felt smooth and firm—and ice-cold, too.
That’s how Orah Gibbons, sixty-one, remembers the first time she encountered Auguste Rodin’s sculpture of Saint John the Baptist in the garden of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Gibbons, a diabetic, started losing her sight twenty-five years ago. Now blind, she experiences art with her hands and her imagination as she follows guided tours for the visually impaired several times a month. “It was so exciting, I could really see what he looks like,” the tiny redhead said, widening her pale eyes as she remembered Rodin’s six-foot-six sculpture of the saint. “It’s amazi…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial