– Eyewear technology added to museum’s ongoing commitment to accessibility –
DALLAS (SMU)—March 16, 2022— The Meadows Museum, SMU, is the first museum in Texas to offer eyewear by EnChroma, Inc., to visitors with color vision deficiencies, or “color blindness.” Thanks to EnChroma’s Color Accessibility Program, which helps public venues, schools, state parks, libraries, museums, and other organizations purchase and loan EnChroma glasses to students and guests, the Meadows’s renowned collection of Spanish art will now be more accessible to color-blind visitors. Museum-goers may check out the glasses free of charge at the Visitor Services Desk effective immediately. Four pairs are available, including one pair sized for children and two pairs adapted to fit over eyeglasses. “It is difficult for most of us to imagine a world of art lacking color—the lush green of a summer landscape, for instance, or a cardinal’s crimson cassock,” said the museum’s Director ad interim, Amanda W. Dotseth. “We are excited to bring this technology to our visitors and hope that it will encourage those who may have cast aside the notion of visiting an art museum because of this condition to try it out.” While people with normal color vision see over one million shades of color, those with red-green color vision deficiency are estimated to see only about 10% of hues and shades. As a result, many colors appear dull, muted, washed out and indistinguishable; purple looks blue, red seems brown, gray appears pink, and green and yellow can look similar. EnChroma’s patented lens technology is engineered with special optical filters that increase the separation between color channels to help people with color blindness see colors more vibrantly, clearly and distinctly. A recent study by scientists at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio illustrated the benefits of the glasses. According to EnChroma, one in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women (0.5%) are color vision deficient; an estimated 13 million in the United States and 350 million worldwide. With a population of 29 million, that means approximately one and a quarter million Texans experience color vision deficiency. “It is exciting and inspiring that students at Southern Methodist University, and other visitors to the Meadows Museum who are color-blind, will be able to more fully experience the colors in iconic works by masters such as El Greco, Velázquez, Dalí and Picasso with our glasses,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “We hope that the Meadows Museum’s initiative encourages other museums, universities and organizations to work with us towards inclusion for those with color vision deficiencies."
The EnChroma glasses are the most recent addition to the museum’s “toolbox” of methods to assist vision-impaired visitors, which includes tactile graphics (raised line drawings), family activity kits in Braille, magnifying devices, and multimodal tours, thus strengthening its commitment to welcoming these audiences.
To view sample images from the Meadows’s collection as they might appear to colorblind viewers (such as the one below), click on the link at the bottom of this announcement.
About the Meadows Museum
The Meadows Museum is the leading U.S. institution focused on the study and presentation of the art of Spain. In 1962, Dallas businessman and philanthropist Algur H. Meadows donated his private collection of Spanish paintings, as well as funds to start a museum, to Southern Methodist University. The museum opened to the public in 1965, marking the first step in fulfilling Meadows’s vision to create “a small Prado for Texas.” Today, the Meadows is home to one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. The collection spans from the 10th to the 21st centuries and includes medieval objects, Renaissance and Baroque sculptures, and major paintings by Golden Age and modern masters. www.meadowsmuseumdallas.org
Based in Berkeley, Calif., EnChroma produces leading-edge eyewear for color blindness and low vision, and other solutions for color vision, sold online and through Authorized Retailers worldwide. Invented in 2010, EnChroma’s patented eyewear for color blindness combines the latest in color perception neuroscience and lens innovation to improve the lives of people with color vision deficiency around the world. EnChroma received an SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It earned the 2016 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration in recognition of the firm’s innovative impact on the human experience through technology, and the 2020 Innovation Award in Life Sciences from the Bay Area’s East Bay Economic Development Alliance. For more information call +1-510-497-0048 or visit enchroma.com.