Art to Touch. Visual accessibility programme
Tour around Álava and new tactile panel
Since 2012, Iberdrola and the museum have been partnering in the Art to Touch programme, whose main goal is to make learning about and enjoyment of works of art accessible to people with visual disabilities. It is a pioneering programme of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum which brings tactile experience into museographic practice through an educational device that reproduces reliefs of a selection of works from the collection.
Along with the main purpose of being specifically designed for people with visual deficiencies, Art to Touch also offers a sensorial awareness-raising experience for all students. Led by educational staff, the activity is complemented with support materials—Braille texts and eye masks—and an explanatory audio guide in Basque, Spanish and English.
After school systems’ enthusiastic reception of the first few editions, which were held at the museum itself, in 2018 the Education Department set out to expand the scope of its targets by organising a tour of this educational accessibility resource around different schools in Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa. Since then, forty-six schools and 10,696 students have participated in this equally successful programme.
From January to Juneof this year, a new tour of Art to Touch is being launched, this time around the schools ofÁlava. Once again, Iberdrola’s support was joined by the collaboration of the CRI—Resource Centre for the Educational Inclusion of Students with Visual Disabilities—which is part of the diversity and inclusion support services of the Basque government’s Education Department.
Starting with the five tactile works initially produced, the programme has expanded the number of works until the nine panels it currently has, and this year a new production has been added: the silver reliefEve (1908–1909) by Nemesio Mogrobejo (Bilbao, 1875–Graz, Austria, 1910). The work depicts a female figure within a decorative border that reflects the influence of Art Nouveau on this Bilbao-based sculptor.
The nine works, which comprise a survey through different periods and artists in the museum’s collection, are the following:
- Catalan Romanesque, Noah’s Ark (last third of the thirteenth century)
- El Greco, The Annunciation (1596–1600)
- José de Ribera, Saint Sebastian Tended by the Holy Women (c.16200–1623)
- Orazio Gentileschi, Lot and his Daughters (c.1628)
- Mary Cassatt, Seated Woman with a Child in her Arms (c.1890)
- Adolfo Guiard, Country Girl with a Red Carnation (1903)
- Nemesio Mogrobejo, Eve (1908–1909)
- María Blanchard, Femme assise (Seated Woman) (c.1928)
- Francis Bacon, Lying Figure in Mirror (1971)
Department of Education and Cultural Action
Tel. 94 439 61 41
Ever since it was created, Iberdrola has been committed to the energy, cultural and social development of the communities where it operates. In this sense, the Iberdrola Foundation Spain takes this commitment a step further by promoting initiatives that contribute to improving people’s quality of life. One of the areas where it focuses its activities is cultural development, and especially caring for and maintaining cultural and artistic treasures.
This is the backdrop of its partnership with the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, which includes support for the Conservation and Restoration programme, the creation of training and research grants in the field of conserving and restoring works of art, and cooperation to develop educational activities specifically designed to share the museum’s collection with groups with special needs due to visual or cognitive disabilities, or in job placement programmes.