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Detail image of hands laid on top of each other, carved in stone, 1964.556 Detail image of hands laid on top of each other, carved in stone, 1964.556

Visitors Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

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Resources in the Ryan Learning Center

Use your senses to explore different materials that make up works of art. Lean in close to see tiny details. Tap an object to hear its gentle ring. Feel its weight or texture. Trace lines and patterns in its surface. 

While we can’t touch art in the museum—our fingerprints can cause permanent damage—we can simulate the experience through play in the Multisensory Gallery and gain a deeper understanding of works in the collection.

While you’re here, be sure to check artwork labels for key information in Braille, and download the Multisensory Tour on the Official Art Institute of Chicago App to hear audio descriptions of selected works in this gallery.

Materials Wall

Examine materials connected to 14 artworks in the museum’s collection, including porcelain, cotton, paper, oil paint, earthenware, egg tempera, raffia, glass, bronze, limestone, wool, steel mail, marble, and walnut.

Rubbing Pattern Designs

Reveal patterns unique to 8 artworks in the museum’s collection.

TacTiles Kits

Available 11:00–3:00, Thursday–Monday

Designed to be touched, TacTiles reproduce the composition and textures of works from the museum’s collection, making them legible through the fingertips. Each TacTile kit also includes color photographs, large-type print descriptions, and Braille descriptions of each work.

Artworks represented include:

Pierre Auguste Renoir’s Two Sisters (On the Terrace) (1881)

Ardriaen van der Spelt and Frans van Mieris’s Trompe-L’Oeil Still Life with a Flower Garland and a Curtain (1658)

Joan Miró’s Personages with Star (1933)

Tosa Mitsuoki’s Flowering Cherry with Poem Slips (about 1675)

Coronation Stone of Motecuhzoma II (1503), Aztec (Mexica); Tenochtitlan, Mexico 

TacTiles are available free of charge and can be checked out from the Ryan Learning Center Thursday–Monday, 11:00–3:00. If you would like to use a TacTile kit outside these hours, please email access@artic.edu or call (312) 857–7641.

Mobile App & Audio Tours

The free Art Institute of Chicago App supports Bluetooth audio output for compatible hearing aids and other receivers and offers a variety of audio tours. The Verbal Description Tour: The Essentials provides a way for blind or partially sighted visitors to experience highlights of the museum’s collection. Verbal description tours are also available for select exhibitions. When visiting the Multisensory Gallery, check out our Multisensory Tour. Visit our Mobile App & Audio Tours page for more information. 

Individuals with disabilities who would like to request an accessibility accommodation for an Art Institute program are encouraged to send an email to access@artic.edu as far in advance as possible.

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