Book Review: Simon Hayhoe «Blind Visitor Experiences at Art Museums»

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Abstract

The review introduces the book “The Experience of Blind Visitors to Art Museums” by Simon Hayhoe, a famous philosopher and professor at the University of Bath (UK), and presents the experience of blind visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, as well as the experience of blind artists such as Esref Armagan and others. The author tries to answer the following questions: why do blind people want to visit art museums if they cannot see the works of fine art and cannot even touch them? How do people whose vision is impaired or absent understand the fine arts if this comprehension is possible primarily through visual perception? What are the consequences of vision loss for a sense of self-identity in a cultural space? Simon Hayhoe believes that blind and visually impaired people enter the world of fine art due to the existence of another, non-sensory dimension. And the portal which connects the materiality of works of art with the world of non-verbal awareness is outside of perceptual knowledge. This “bridge” between conscious and nonverbal knowledge is described as a transition that is provided by the museum environment and by the knowledge of the pieces of art and the whole cultural context. The very atmosphere of museums, galleries, and cultural heritage sites promotes contact between the spiritual world of visitors and works of art.

General Information

Keywords: museum, works of art, blind visitors, art education, accessible environment

Journal rubric: Psychology of Special and Inclusive Education

Article type: review article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/jmfp.2023120403

Acknowledgements. The authors of the article thank Simon Hayhoe for the opportunity to get acquainted with his book.

Received: 02.11.2023

Accepted:

For citation: Prilevskaia S.A., Basilova T.A. Book Review: Simon Hayhoe «Blind Visitor Experiences at Art Museums» [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2023. Vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 33–36. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2023120403. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

References

  1. Skorokhodova O.I. Kak ya vosprinimayu, predstavlyayu i ponimayu okruzhayushchii mir: 2-e izd., ispr. i dop. [How I perceive, imagine and understand the world around me]. M.: Pedagogika, 1990. 416 p. (In Russ.).
  2. Hayhoe S. Blind Visitor Experiences at Art Museums. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017. 234 p.

Information About the Authors

Sofia A. Prilevskaia, Master’s Student of the Department of Special Psychology and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Clinical and Special Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0008-6611-6475, e-mail: sofya.prilevskaya@gmail.com

Tatiana A. Basilova, PhD in Psychology, Professor of the Department of Special Psychology and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Clinical and Special Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1228-1359, e-mail: bassilova@yandex.ru

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