In June 2012, a new class of Gallery docents celebrated the end of their year-long training as volunteer tour guides. Each of the 35 new docents has pledged to lead at least 25 tours a year and attend followup sessions twice a month. Look for them around the Gallery as they introduce a new generation of schoolchildren to the wonders of the collection!
In October 2011, MAG hosted an open house for members of the community who are blind or visually impaired. The day featured cell phone stops that give detailed visual descriptions of selected work in the collection, as well as touch tours of several works of sculpture upstairs and down. Over the course of the day, 60 people attended the program, which ABVI and WXXI Reach Out Radio helped promote.
The open house was made possible by the Elizabeth L. and Donald M. Cohn Endowment.
Pictured: Assistant curator Sydney Greaves (at left) leads a touch tour of a 3rd-c. Roman sarcophagus. Photo by Brandon K. Vick.
In February 2011, MAG launched a special cell phone tour for visitors who are blind or visually impaired. The detailed verbal descriptions of selected paintings in the collection were written by journalist Amy Mednick, who described the works as “old friends” in a Democrat and Chronicle blog.
“After I described five paintings,” wrote Mednick, “we toured them with Rene LaTorre, of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired-Goodwill, and Lisa Helen Hoffman, an expert in audio description, who gave us helpful input on details and structure. Ruth Phinney, of Reachout Radio, then arranged for Anita Nicoletta to record these descriptions, and generously donated the recording and production time at WXXI.”
The tour is also available in Braille at the Gallery’s admission desk. Learn more
Pictured: Peeling Onions, by American artist Lilly Martin Spencer, is one of the tour stops.
At first glance, an ancient Mycenaean vase, a 17th-century Flemish painting and a 20th-century Antelope crest figure from West Africa don’t have much in common. But as a new, interactive MAG website makes clear, these objects have stories to tell that can teach life lessons, celebrate our common human experience, even help explain the unexplainable.
With four other works from the Gallery’s permanent collection, they’re the focus of Picturing the Story: Narrative Arts and the Stories They Tell. The site, which was funded by a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is geared to teachers and students but has much to interest any art-loving member of the general public. Visit and explore
Pictured: Krater with Chariot Procession, 13th c. BCE. R.T. Miller Fund.
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