This famous painting was just transformed into 3D touchable art for the visually impaired.

A museum in Vienna is making sure everyone, including the blind and visually impaired, gets to experience art.

You might recognize "The Kiss," a famous painting that lives in the Belvedere Museum in Vienna.

More properly known as "The Kiss (Lovers)," the painting was created between 1907 and 1908 by the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. It's done in oil and gold leaf. It's pretty famous, so you've probably seen it before, although you might have not known the name.

Over a million people come to Vienna to see the painting every year.

Photo by Dieter Nagl/AFP/Getty Images.


Some even stage their own re-enactments of the painting's tender moment.

Photo by Dieter Nagl/AFP/Getty Images.

Knowing that some of those visitors couldn't actually see the painting — even if it could be described to them — the museum sought a way to enhance the exhibit.

So, working with a EU project known as AMBAVis (Access to Museums for Blind and Visually Impaired People), they created a miniature, touchable 3D relief of the painting.

Photo by Herbert Pfarrhofer/AFP/Getty Images.

Andreas Reichinger used a computer and 3D printer to model and translate the painting into a roughly 16-inch relief.

The relief lacks the bright colors of the original, but all the details, such as the texture of the ground or the patches on the pair's cloak, have been carried over. Visitors will be encouraged to touch and feel it.

There will even be sensors in the relief that can provide audio commentary when certain places are touched. Other museums have done similar projects with the works of Goya, El Greco, and Velázquez before, to rave reviews.

It's really cool to see this museum experimenting with expanding access to art.

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 3% of people over 40 years old are visually impaired or blind. In Vienna, this means that the new version could bring the painting to thousands of new people.

"We want to open up a whole new chapter of making art available for the blind and visually impaired," Rainer Delgado from the German Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired said in an AFP report. He also suggested that, in the future, these kinds of reliefs could be widely available to anyone with access to a 3D printer.

Museums often are the first institutions to slowly push boundaries and tear down barriers to art.

It's awesome that the Belvedere is continuing that tradition.

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In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

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Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

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Courtesy of Macy's

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You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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