The Dallas Museum of Art Is Offering High-Tech Glasses So Color-Blind Viewers Can See Art in Vivid Color

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Ever sit back and wonder, is red the same as red? What is the difference between red and green?

For those with color vision deficiency, also known as color blindness or CVD, certain hues are difficult or impossible to discern. The condition affects approximately one in 12 men and one in 200 women. Now, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is teaming up with EnChroma, a company that specializes in the production of glasses with lenses that adjust to change color perception, to give color blind visitors a chance to experience the full spectrum of some of the museum’s most vibrant paintings.

Glasses now available at the museum use cutting-edge lens technology to enhance the color perception of visitors with red-green deficiency. 

The offering is one of a number of color blind accessibility initiatives—including CVD tests and complimentary check-ups on site—organized to mark International Color Blindness Awareness Month in September. The museum plans to reprise the program every year.

Maurice de Vlaminck, “Bougival,” c. 1905. Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection.

Maurice de Vlaminck, , c. 1905. Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection.

Extending well beyond September, the glasses will be available in conjunction with the DMA exhibition “Movement: The Legacy of Kineticism” (through July 16, 2023), which presents 80 works from the museum’s collection that deploy optical effects or mechanical or manipulable parts to engage the viewer. 

Visitors can pick up the lenses, available in both child and adult sizes, at the museum’s guest services desk. They can reserve them for 1.5-hour time slots and use them to experience everything from Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Sam F (1985) to a Guadalupe Rosales’s immersive mural spanning the museum’s concourse. 

The DMA is not the only Texas institution to offer EnChroma glasses. The Meadows Museum launched a similar program in March.

“The DMA is committed to being a space of wonder and discovery for all,” Melissa Brito, the museum’s manager of access programs and resources, said in a statement. “With this partnership, we are thrilled to say that it also includes individuals with color vision deficiencies. We are so excited to welcome this group of individuals to our museum to experience their own journey with art in vivid color.”

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