Dallas Museum of Art Offers Specialized Glasses for Visitors who are Color Blind

by Jessica Fuentes October 6, 2022

Last month, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) launched a new suite of initiatives to assist people with color vision deficiency (CVD), also referred to as color blindness.

A side by side comparison of the original colors in an abstract work by Kazuya Sakai and how the artwork appears to people who are red-green color blind.

Kazuya Sakai, “Integrales II (Edgard Varèse),” 1979. Dallas Museum of Art, Lay Family Acquisition Fund. Copyright Kazuya Sakai’s estate Courtesy of Galería Vasari, Buenos Aires.

The DMA’s new partnership with EnChroma makes the museum the second in Texas to offer glasses to enhance color perception for visitors with red-green type CVD; the Meadows Museum launched a similar program in March of this year. A representative from the Meadows shared an anecdote about the program from museum visitor Mick Baccio: “I found out I was color blind the day I joined the military. To be honest, it was something I was always aware of, but kind of accepted, and never paid much mind to it. However, when I learned the Meadows offered EnChroma glasses to color blind guests, visiting jumped to the top of my to do list.”

Mr. Baccio continued, “It’s hard to describe the experience, as I’m sure it’s a very individual one. As clich​​é as this will sound, it’s seeing the world from a new aperture. Colors are more vibrant. Details emerge that were previously unseen. It’s jarring, but in the best way. I guarantee you will do the thing where you take the glasses off and put them back on over and over again. EnChroma glasses are the perfect accompaniment to the vast collection of vivid, beautiful paintings at the Meadows. I don’t want to steal anyone’s thunder, but I do hope every museum takes note of what they’ve done and replicates it…”

As part of Color Blind Awareness Month, in September the DMA offered CVD tests during their Late Night event and on select days in front of the exhibition Movement: The Legacy of Kineticism, which inherently focuses on movement, but also features vibrantly colored works. Moving forward, the museum will offer free tests annually, in recognition of the month. Additionally, since the opening of Movement on September 18, the museum has made EnChroma® glasses (both adult and youth sizes) available for all museum visitors. 

A side by side comparison of the original colors in an Impressionist landscape painting by Maurice de Vlaminck and how the artwork appears to people who are red-green color blind.

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

The accessibility page on the DMA’s website states that the glasses work for approximately 8 out of 10 people with red-green type CVD, and while some people notice an immediate difference, others may take up to ten minutes to adjust to the lenses. The glasses, which can be checked out at the museum’s Guest Services Desk, are free for visitors. Reservations for them can be made for 1.5 hour time slots, and visitors can reserve up to two time slots at once. Additionally, visitors who try the glasses and are interested in purchasing a pair from EnChroma can receive a discount code from the DMA for 25% off.

To learn more about the EnChroma glasses available at the DMA and to make your reservation, visit the museum’s website.

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