Apr 17, 2024

MNAC: 1000 years of Catalan art history now accessible

While the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) owes its worldwide renown to its rich collection of Romanesque art, it also holds remarkable works from the Gothic to the modern era. Therefore, it made perfect sense for the museum team to offer visitors the keys to understanding each period.

Copy of Damián Forment's "Dormition of the Virgin". The original work, in the background, is in alabaster, the material most widely used in Catalan sculpture from the 14th to 17th centuries. Credit TS

To guide visitors, an introductory panel at the entrance to each room explains the artistic practices of the collection’s four main periods (Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque, Modern), while the most emblematic works are explored by touch.

Canaletto's "The Return of the Bucintoro", 18th century. Credit TS

Works such as the apse of Sant Climent de Taüll and its monumental Romanesque moral painting, Canaletto’s 18th-century “Return of the Bucintoro”, and Pablo Picasso’s portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter, “Femme au chapeau et col en fourrure”, have been reinterpreted in relief, bas-relief or volume. They are systematically accompanied by an audio device in four languages (Spanish, Catalan, English, French) and in Braille.

This inclusive trail is the fruit of an interdisciplinary project involving the interpretation department, curators, reception staff and a group of testers working alongside Tactile Studio. We had to prioritize the information to be displayed by room, by work, and work on the quality of the route, its educational interest as much as its comfort.

It was the first project of such nature and scale for the MNAC. The museum’s management wanted to involve its reception and interpretation staff. Their contribution proved to be of the greatest value (and they were very enthusiastic!): they took part in a study of the uses of the itinerary, and then in a training-action course given by Tactile Studio to integrate inclusive devices into guided tours.

Find out more about the MNAC

Museum website: here.

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