Rijksmuseum Becomes First Museum to Offer Video Tour in Dutch Sign Language

Sunday, June 9, 2019
Rijksmuseum Becomes First Museum to Offer Video Tour in Dutch Sign Language

Rijksmuseum is launching the first ever museum video tour in Dutch Sign Language, made in collaboration with Roos and Martine Wattel from ‘Wat Telt!’ (‘What counts!’) and Max Vonk. This digital guide to 20 objects also includes fun facts, video clips and animations to enjoy between the artworks. It’s the tenth tour to be added to the Rijksmuseum app.

Image: Martine Wattel talks about the Rijksmuseum library

 

Rijksmuseum is launching the first ever museum video tour in Dutch Sign Language, made in collaboration with Roos and Martine Wattel from ‘Wat Telt!’ (‘What counts!’) and Max Vonk. This digital guide to 20 objects also includes fun facts, video clips and animations to enjoy between the artworks. It’s the tenth tour to be added to the Rijksmuseum app.

Roos Wattel: We are delighted that the Rijksmuseum is offering visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing the opportunity to enjoy the museum at their leisure. As well as increasing accessibility, this addition to the app also affirms the importance of Dutch Sign Language.

Hendrikje Crebolder, director of Development & Media at the Rijksmuseum: The Rijksmuseum belongs to everyone and is for everyone. It’s important to us that everyone has equal and independent access to the museum and feels at home here – and for that to happen, people need to be able to get information in their own language.

 

Martine Wattel talks about The Merry Family, Jan Havicksz. Steen.

 

 

A decade of signing in the museum

The Rijkmuseum first offered tours in Dutch Sign Language ten years ago to accompany an exhibition by the deaf artist Hendrick Avercamp. This project involved a collaboration with the Dutch Sign Centre (Nederlands Gebarencentrum), which made a start on creating a lexicon of museum-related terms in Dutch Sign Language. This resulted in several new signs for ‘restoration’, ‘depot’ and ‘curator’, for example. The museum also developed a course for use in education for the deaf.

In 2016 the Rijksmuseum joined Museums in Sign (Musea in Gebaren) and offers monthly tours of the permanent collection and exhibitions led by deaf guides. The new video tour means deaf visitors can visit the museum and get explanations in their own language whenever they wish – they can even watch the tour at home, before or after their visit.

About the makers

This sign language guided tour was made by Roos and Martine Wattel from Wat Telt! and Max Vonk. Wat Telt! is an accessibility consultancy specialising in services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. In 2015, Wat Telt! set up Museums in Sign (Musea in Gebaren) together with Foam Photography Museum in Amsterdam. In 2019, Museums in Sign went independent and continued under the co-ordination of Wat Telt!. Max Vonk is a freelance film editor and colourist. Wat Telt! and Max Vonk Media have been working together since 2016 on multiple video productions in sign language.

Roos Wattel on the making of the video tour: Developing a sign language video tour is a major project. As well as having to create a new grammar, you need to pay close attention to facial expression, pace, sign locations, signing space and narrative sequence. You’re translating from a written language to a three-dimensional language, so information is being conveyed in a very visual way that has to get across every detail of the story perfectly. We are deaf ourselves, and we are very pleased that the Rijksmuseum wanted to ensure this was a truly inclusive project and work with deaf entrepreneurs.

Next year, the Rijksmuseum wants to offer a video tour in International Sign, which is based on American Sign Language and supplemented with signs from other languages.

The video tour in Dutch Sign Language is included in the Rijksmuseum app, which smartphone users can download for free. The tour is also available on a rental device at the museum for €5.

The video tour in Dutch Sign Language is made possible in part by the Bas ten Haaf Fund / Rijksmuseum Fund. The Rijksmuseum app was made with the support of KPN, a main sponsor of the museum.

Telegram Channel

ArtDependence is now also available on the messaging platform Telegram. Telegram is a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app with a focus on security and speed.

Subscribing to the ArtDependence Channel allows you to easily stay up to date with the latest ArtDependence news.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Image of the Day

Edward Hopper - Sea Watchers, 1952

Edward Hopper - Sea Watchers, 1952

Search

About ArtDependence

ArtDependence Magazine is an international magazine covering all spheres of contemporary art, as well as modern and classical art.

ArtDependence features the latest art news, highlighting interviews with today’s most influential artists, galleries, curators, collectors, fair directors and individuals at the axis of the arts.

The magazine also covers series of articles and reviews on critical art events, new publications and other foremost happenings in the art world.

If you would like to submit events or editorial content to ArtDependence Magazine, please feel free to reach the magazine via the contact page.