The Visual Description Project was created by Liza Sylvestre, Curator of Academic Programs at KAM.
Visual descriptions of artwork are created primarily for people with low vision and blindness. Despite their importance, these descriptions remain unregulated, meaning that there are neither any requirements to create them nor any official standards for them
As a result, visual descriptions are often dismissed or only reluctantly implemented by cultural organizations. What is more the Department of Justice has recently halted work that would more clearly define how the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) would regulate internet accessibility protocols.
In recognition of these underserved audiences, KAM is developing a Visual Description Project designed to provide a generative and creative space in which individuals of all sensory compositions can learn and enjoy.
The Visual Description Project has three main goals:
- To make KAM’s collections increasingly accessible to people with low vision and blindness;
- To provide new and creative learning tools through which expansive art learning becomes possible;
- To collectively redefine the concept of disability, and to acknowledge that individuals with differing sensory makeups are vital to our culture and artistic experiences.
Participate in the Visual Description Project
We invite you to create your own visual description of our collection!
If you have questions, or if you would like to schedule a virtual discussion around the theme of accessibility and the museum, please email email@example.com.
Visual Description Examples
"Shaped like a large, plump mango, this ceramic vessel is painted in brown earth tones to look like a frog. It sits on its rump with its head at the top, exposing his big creamy belly and striped back. On its belly rests its four legs, painted on, in blocky L-shapes, each with four extended toes. The frog’s back is covered in a series of stripes with varying brown earth tones. The frog’s wide almond-shaped eyes have simple black dots as pupils and look upward. On the top of the frog, there is a handle and spout. The spout rises from the back of its head and angles back like a finger. The handle starts between the frog’s eyes and connects to the spout. "
Author: A. Sautman
See this work of art in the online collection: Frog Sculptural Vessel
"An oil painting depicts an exterior Victorian Gothic scene ca. 18th century. In the foreground are two prominent sandy stone courtyard walls, in front of which a family is beginning to gather for a lavish meal of seafood. Before the right partition of wall, the mother wears a short-sleeved Victorian black dress with crisp white apron skirt and red pumps as she places a vibrant lobster tail tower entree onto the center of the round table. She looks resigned and impatient with her dark hair frazzled and sticking diagonally out from her head. With her, a young boy in short pants, leans head-on-hand on the table still dressed from play with a paper hat, kerchief, and belted sword looking petulant. Leaning against the partial wall on the left with arms pressed back is a barefoot young girl with dark bobbed hair in a soft pink dress that matches the blooms on the surrounding rose vines on the courtyard walls. Between the girl and table, a five-pound black poodle, with lacey collar lies on ground in anticipation of scraps. In the background are dark buildings with chimneys and windows, creating an ominous skyline, with shadowy figures peering out, and include half of a man in tails. The overall effect is quite moody and a bit macabre, with a strong narrative quality."
Author: K. Sissons
See this work of art in the online collection: Late Again!
"Two riders gallop through a landscape with a brown dog in the lower left corner. On the left side, a man wearing a red robe with gold gloves, a gold collar, and white boots rides a beige horse, which has all four legs off the ground. He blows a brown horn that he holds to his mouth with his left hand. He has a yellow bow on his back and a yellow quiver of arrows on the back of his saddle. His horse covers the back half of the horse behind him. That other rider, who is on the right side, wears a green robe with a red collar and a yellow bow on his back. He raises his right arm before him with his index finger pointed up in the air and turns his head to look back at the other man. His horse is reddish-brown and it only has two legs lifted off the ground."
Author: M. Warren
See this work of art in the online collection: Parable of the Prodigal Son