Opening Reception for Common Touch: The Art of the Senses in the History of the Blind

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1/3: Teresa Jaynes, See a Table and Feel a Table. Embossed diptych print, arches, cover, 11 x 14”. Photos courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia.
2/3: Raised-printed music sheet in first annual report of the Managers of the Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the Blind (Philadelphia, 1834). Photo courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia.
3/3: Braille: Grade One (United States, not before 1917). Single sheet printed in Braille and raised-letter type. Photo courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia.

The Library Company of Philadelphia hosts an opening reception for Common Touch: The Art of the Senses in the History of the Blind, curated by artist-in-residence and Pew Fellow Teresa Jaynes—a multisensory exhibition that explores the nature of perception and the history of the blind during the 19th century. Based on the Library Company of Philadelphia’s extraordinary collection of pre-Braille texts for the blind, the exhibition is the culmination of nearly five years of research by Jaynes, and incorporates historic objects alongside new artifacts, visual art, and literature that visitors can experience via touch, smell, and hearing. Jaynes has also worked with a select group of advisors with varying degrees of vision loss, referred to as the Vision Council, to ensure that Common Touch is widely accessible to all audiences.

This event is free and open to the public.


Founded in 1973, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council is a private, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization dedicated to providing every Pennsylvanian with access to the humanities.

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