Friday Photos: Getting In Touch

With October just a few days away, the DMA is gearing up to participate in Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month. Art Beyond Sight raises public awareness of ways that individuals who are blind or visually impaired can take part in art-related activities.

One way that art can be explored beyond sight is through the sense of touch. Wandering the DMA’s galleries, it’s easy to find works of art that are full of interesting textures. Although we can’t actually touch the displayed works of art, it’s still fun to imagine how they might feel. Here are a few of my favorites:


I imagine that this pangolin skin hat has an extremely scaly texture. Unlike the smoother scales of some animals, the pangolin’s skin seems to be much pricklier, almost like a pine cone!


This Peruvian panel is covered in a thick mass of beautiful macaw feathers. I imagine that the lush feathers make this work of art extremely soft to the touch.


This Indonesian jaraik was once hung outside a house as a protective figure. Made from wood and metal, the lower portion of the jaraik is pointed at the ends, like a misshapen pitchfork. Because of this, I imagine that it would be sharp to the touch.


Brancusi’s sculpture, Beginning of the World, includes an egg-shaped form made from marble. I imagine that the marble figure has a smooth, sleek texture—much like the eggs that I purchase regularly at the grocery store!

What other works of art can you find that are smooth, sharp, soft or scaly? Can you think of any other textures that are found in works of art here at the DMA? Tell us what your favorite textured works of art are and be sure to visit us during the month of October to take part in one of our many Art Beyond Sight activities!

Artworks shown:

  • Pangolin skin hat, 20th century, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa, Dallas Museum of Art, Lent by Michael and Shelly Dee
  • Panel with rectangles of blue and yellow featherwork, c. A.D. 650-850, Huari culture, Peru, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund
  • Protective figure (jaraik) in the form of an animal, 1900, Taileleu village, Indonesia, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Fund, Inc.
  • Constantin Brancusi, Beginning of the World, 1920, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H, Clark

Amy Elms
McDermott Education Intern for Visitor Engagement


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