Intersensorial meaning construction of art works: blind visitors following guided tours in art museums.

  • De Coster, Karin, (Collaborator)
  • Elias, Willem (Administrative Promotor)

Project Details


This study investigates how blind persons interact with visual art works. It focuses on the ways in which blind persons experience works of art by touch. Using Grounded Theory we analyse spontaneous reactions to several sculptures. Our first findings of these analyses lead to an increased attention towards the tension that is taking place between the visual character of art and the tactile exploration of the viewer, with a special interest for individual differences.
In a second stage emphasis goes towards guided tours for blind individuals in art museums. In this part the museum guide can be seen as the intermediary actor between the visual art and the experience of the blind person. A dialogue of a shared experience of the blind spectator and the museum guide elicits a joint construction of the art object. Drawing on conversation analysis we focus on the nature of this joint intersensorial construction. The data in this part consist of video recordings of naturally occurring interaction between the museum guide and the blind visitor. The study contributes to social constructionism and symbolic interactionism. It seeks to investigate the empiric social world by analysing everyday social action.
Effective start/end date1/01/0431/12/04


  • agogics

Flemish discipline codes

  • Psychology and cognitive sciences