The National Federation of the Blind Sponsors Tactile Exhibit at the Newseum

Blind museum goers interact with one of John Olsen's tactile photographs.

The National Federation of the Blind Sponsors Tactile Exhibit at the Newseum

Last month, the Newseum became the first US museum to host a major tactile art exhibit. “The Marines and Tet” exhibit, sponsored in part by the National Federation of the Blind, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive which was staged on January 31, 1968. This first-of-its-kind, interactive exhibit is comprised of twenty photos taken by John Olson during the Vietnam War, ten of which Olson’s company 3DPhotoWorks made into tactile renderings. The displays also include audio components made up of descriptions of the photos and interviews with the Marines featured in them reflecting on their experiences.

The importance of this exhibit extends beyond honoring these men and the Tet Offensive. It is hopefully the sign of a new day when tactile and interactive exhibits become the norm, rather than the exception. Not only does this enable blind and low-vision visitors to appreciate these exhibits, it enhances the experience for all visitors.

On January 30, 2018, the National Federation of the Blind hosted a reception to celebrate this first-of-its-kind exhibit. Here’s what some attendees shared on social media about the reception and the exhibit:

@kea_anderson said, “Super excited to be at the @Newseum for the first tactile photo exhibit I’ve ever been to. I also get to enjoy a reception with my @NFB_voice colleagues.”

@Slateandstylish said, “’This is our gift to the sighted.’ Thank you John Olson, @NFB_voice, and @Newseum for the gift of this exhibit! As a wife of a veteran, I can’t wait to experience this historical moment!”

Members of the Federation also attended the Newseum’s opening reception on January 25, 2018. As a sponsor of the exhibit, the National Federation of the Blind was invited not only to attend, but President Riccobono was asked to give some remarks during the program segment of the evening. Below you’ll find video of the opening reception program, photos from both receptions, as well as various stories from media outlets that covered the exhibit.

We encourage you to visit the exhibit and share your thoughts with us. It runs through July 8th, 2018. Learn more at

Watch our short video to learn more.

Newseum Facebook Live Video Tour and Interview

“The Marines and Tet: The Battle That Changed the Vietnam War” Opening Program

Washington Post

CBS Sunday Morning

Fox News