‘Seeing through Touch’ c.1913-1926

From 1913, John Alfred Charlton Deas, a former curator at Sunderland Museum, organised several handling sessions for the blind, first offering an invitation to the children from the Sunderland Council Blind School, to handle a few of the collections at Sunderland Museum, which was ‘eagerly accepted’.

‘They were so successful that Deas went on to develop and arrange a course of regular handling sessions, extending the invitations to blind adults.’

- Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums

Thank you to John Coburn

3 comments to ‘Seeing through Touch’ c.1913-1926

  • ArteConTacto

    Incredible! I was not aware that these techniques have been used (and documented) so early on for making art accessible for everybody. Great finding!

    All the best, Moritz

    Dr. Moritz Neumüller


  • Museum Planner

    Wonderful blog post! A very early version of for museums.


  • Jinx

    How wonderful! We were fortunate enough to benefit from this sort of thing while visiting the British Museum. A curator had a piece of cuneiform and some old coins that we could handle. Holding the cuneiform was neat, holding something that a person made several thousand years ago really made it personal.

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