Visually impaired visitors to the Dutch “Blind Spot” exhibition might call it cheesy, but it’s in fact literal.
The Utrecht Central Museum launched the unique project this month to make it easier for the visually impaired to access and enjoy.
The exhibit recreates the original paintings, but with other special dimensions, such as sound and smell, including the aroma of ripe cheese.
Moreover, this time the museum allows visitors to touch.
The Museum prompts sighted visitors to wear blindfolds to experience the artworks, including Floris van Dyck’s “Still Life with Fruit, Nuts and Cheese.”
This type of artwork by Van Dyck originated in 1610.
“The first thing that struck me was the smell,” said Farid el Manssouri, a visually impaired visitor.
He smiled after he touched the cheese, grapes and a bread roll made into 3D objects from Van Dyck’s original painting.
“I could actually smell the cheese, and I touched it too.” He added.
El Manssouri wondered how the food did not fall, although the table was aslope.
“That was really surprising to feel. I guess it was glued on pretty well.” He said.
Artist Jasper Udink ten Cate and designer Jeroen Prins came up with this unusual idea.
They said the inspiration came when they served food with the artwork, and a blind woman liked it.
“That moment was the starting point,” said Ten Cate.
The Museum’s head of inclusivity, Steffie Maas, said the experiment “Blind Spot” is under further development.
It will be more accessible and as important as the display.
“I think it’s an amazing experience,” said another visitor, Bas Suurland.
“I think it’s quite unique in the Netherlands, as it triggers the other senses, other than visual sense.” He added.