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The University of Michigan's Museum of Art houses a powerful collection of European and American art from 1650 to 1850. This exhibit, entitled Unsettling Histories: Legacies of Slavery and Colonialism, contributes to the discourse around challenging "museums to examine the uncomfortable histories contained in our collections, and challenged the public to probe the choices we make about those stories." In light of this discourse around representation, I wondered how the exhibition could be more accessible and engaging for visually impaired individuals. Audio tours have become a popular contribution to museum experiences, but I felt that the University's museum could offer something more unique. This embossed map guides users through the exhibit using braille and a variety of distinguishable 3D patterns representative of important objects in the space. Alongside the map is a companion booklet equipped with braille which lists each of the pieces in the exhibit. Five of the artworks are highlighted further using embossing. I want to provide museum visitors with a new experience of relating to the artworks so I've highlighted five important pieces with more detail. Various textures from the artworks are embossed onto the page, allowing for visitors to feel with their hands and connected with the pieces. Thank you to UMMA for working with students on these important initiatives for inclusivity!
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