An enquiry into passive and active exclusion from sensory aesthetics in museums and on the Web: two case studies of final year students at California School for the Blind studying art works through galleries and on the web

Article English OPEN
Hayhoe, S. (2014)
  • Publisher: SAGE
  • Subject: H | L | N

Two case studies of students from California School for the Blind studying artworks in museums and on the Web are discussed. The analysis focuses on the traditional understanding that unreachable artworks in the museum are deciphered by non-intellectual elites primarily from the perspective of visual perception and museums are simple vessels of art, as contended by Ernst Gombrich and Pierre Bourdieu, and that exclusion is either passive or active. It is also argued that there is a bridge between sensing an object and understanding it that is beyond perceptions. The article concludes that the two students featured in the case studies were more likely to be passively rather than actively excluded from unreachable and two-dimensional artworks, and that they could still develop a symbolic intellectual and emotional connection with these artworks and the museum through verbal descriptions and being in their presence.
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