AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands & BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today EnChroma announced that colour blind visitors to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam will be able to enjoy the colourful masterpieces of Vincent van Gogh in fuller colour. As part of the Van Gogh Museum’s mission to promote accessibility, EnChroma glasses for red-green colour blindness will be available for guests who suffer from Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD, or “colour blindness”) to borrow while touring the museum.
“As Vincent wrote in 1885, 'Colour expresses something in itself. One can’t do without it; one must make use of it.’ We are very pleased that more visitors are able to experience the vibrant colours of the art of Van Gogh with the help of these glasses,” said Mirjam Eikelenboom, Program Manager for Accessibility for the Van Gogh Museum.
“I’m confident that Van Gogh would be pleased that the colours he so meticulously crafted are now more visible to millions of people previously unable to perceive them,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “We commend the Van Gogh Museum for working with us on an initiative that will inspire thousands of people with colour blindness to experience Van Gogh’s masterpieces in a new, more colourful way.”
While people with normal colour vision see over one million shades and hues of colour, colour blind people see only an estimated 10% of them. To the red-green colour blind, colours appear dull and washed out, with some difficult to distinguish from each other. Common colour confusions include green and yellow, grey and pink, purple and blue, and red and brown. This can detract from the ability of colour blind people to fully experience vibrant, colourful art.
One in twelve men (8%) and one in 200 women (0.5%) are colour blind – about 731,000 in The Netherlands, 30 million in Europe and 350 million worldwide. Typically, the Van Gogh welcomes over two million visitors annually. Of these, an estimated 85,000 are colour blind. An additional 250 million people visit the museum’s collections online. Roughly 10.5 million of them cannot experience all of the colors in Van Gogh’s work.
The Van Gogh Museum is the first museum in Amsterdam, and second in The Netherlands, to support colour blind guests via the EnChroma Colour Accessibility Program™. Over 80 museums participate in the program including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Centraal Museum Utrecht in The Netherlands, Gallerie d’Italia in Italy, Chau Chak Wing Museum in Australia, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Dallas Museum of Art and Museums of Contemporary Art, Chicago and Denver in the US.
Click here to see more images of artwork at the Van Gogh Museum, with Dutch and English captions, as they appear to those with colour vision deficiencies.
EnChroma Colour Accessibility Program™
EnChroma is the leading advocate for accessibility for those with colour blindness. Nearly 200 public institutions – including libraries, schools, universities, national parks, gardens, tourism bureaus – participate to help colour blind visitors more fully experience colours in art, nature and overcome obstacles to learning. EnChroma donates a pair of glasses for every pair an organization purchases. EnChroma also provides materials for institutions to educate the public or teachers, students and parents about colour blindness and its effects. Organizations interested in joining the program can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special optical filters in EnChroma glasses help colour blind people perceive a wider range of colours and to see them more vividly and distinctly. A study by the University of California, Davis, and INSERM, the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research, demonstrated the effectiveness of EnChroma glasses. A separate recent study in the scientific publication Eye-Nature also highlights the benefits of the glasses.
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 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. Visit enchroma.com to learn more.