Zinnia Willits has traveled to Shanghai with “Mrs. Robert Gilmor, Jr.,” but The Gibbes Museum of Art collections management director said she never really saw the well-known painting until she closed her eyes.“I’ve been looking at that portrait for 15 years, but I never noticed the signature in the bottom,” said Willits, who came across artist Thomas Sully’s name when she ran her hands over a 3D print of the iconic 1823 work.Willits led the charge to commission a relief print of the portrait after reading about a 2015 exhibit at Madrid’s Museo del Prado, featuring raised copies of six paintings by artists including Goya, El Greco and Velazquez. The show invited visitors with little or no sight to experience the works tactilely, allowing them to appreciate brushstrokes and composition alongside those who took in the art with their eyes.While art museums around the world had previously offered touch tours of their sculpture collections for visitors with limited sight, the technology on display at the Prado was considered a major advancement in capturing the nuances of art. And with The Gibbes newly committed to enhancing accessibility, a guiding principle of its recent renovation, a 3D painting seemed like a perfect… Read full this story
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