From the Gothic to Historicism in Steps (accommodated for visually-impaired visitors)

The exhibition – intended for all visually-impaired visitors – is part of the permanent cultural history collection of the Regional Musuem of Celje on the first floor of the Old Counts' Mansion.

The permanent cultural history collection is arranged according to the art periods from the Gothic to Historicism. The framework of the new exhibition for visually-impaired visitors follows the exhibition principle of the collection; every art period contains the most characteristic example with tactile graphics to convey non-textual information. Additional information about a certain item is available in a special archive: in a large print catalogue and in a catalogue with Braille letters. At first, the information concerning certain items was intended to be presented via audio guide. Such technology is an excellent helping tool, and also a popular way for the blind and visually-impaired to receive information; due to financial reasons, the audio guides were not implemented.

During the installation of the exhibition, the authors invested time and effort into realizing the optimum conditions for the visually-impaited visitors. The items are displayed at an appropriate height and are properly installed so that they do not fall down or break apart. There are nine objects available for display; such an amount was chosen due to the concern expressed by the visually-impaired visitors, namely that a large amount of items hinders the clarity of presentation. Out of nine items, there are three original ones, and six reproductions.

The special feature of this exhibition is an attempt to present the greatest artistic object of our museum – the Celje Ceiling, the masterpiece from the 17th century – to visually-impaired visitors. The painting is composed of eleven sections, and it is painted in tempera colours applied on canvas; the eleven sections are fastened to wooden frames. To present such a detailed and meticuluously painted masterpiece – permeated with vivid colours and diverse motifs – to the visually-impaired visitors is one of the most challenging goals. Tactile-based imagery can assist in visualizing only the basic composition of the painting; however, anything beyond that needs to be supplemented with an audio guide.

Visitor experience and their comments – hopefully shared with the museum staff – will help us correct any deficiencies and improve our work.