Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Lon Chaney Snr.

Lon Chaney Snr. was born on 1 April, 1883 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA and died on 26 August, 1930, nicknamed “The Man of a Thousand Faces,” was an American actor during the age of silent films. Lon Chaney Snr. was one of the most versatile and powerful actors of early cinema. Lon Chaney Snr. is best remembered for his characterisations of tortured, often grotesque and afflicted characters, and his groundbreaking artistry with film makeup.

Lon Chaney Snr. was born Leonidas Frank Chaney  to Frank H. Chaney and Emma Alice Kennedy; his father had mostly English and some French ancestry, and his mother was of Irish descent. Both of Lon Chaney Snr.’s parents were deaf, and as a child of deaf adults Lon Chaney Snr. became skilled in pantomime. Lon Chaney Snr. entered a stage career in 1902, and began traveling with popular Vaudeville and theater acts. In 1905, he met and married 16 year old singer Cleva Creighton and in 1906, their 1st child and only son, Creighton Chaney (a.k.a. Lon Chaney, Jr.) was born. The Chaneys continued touring, settling in California in 1910.

Unfortunately, marital troubles developed and in April 1913, Cleva went to the Majestic Theater in downtown Los Angeles, where Lon Chaney Snr. was managing the Kolb and Dill show, and attempted suicide by swallowing mercury bichloride. The suicide attempt failed and ruined her singing career; the ensuing scandal and divorce forced Lon Chaney Snr. out of the theater and into film.

The time spent there is not clearly known, but between the years 1912 and 1917, Lon Chaney Snr. worked under contract for Universal Studios doing bit or character parts. Lon Chaney Snr’s outstanding skill with makeup gained him many parts in the highly competitive casting atmosphere. During this time, Lon Chaney Snr. befriended the husband-wife director team of Joe De Grasse and Ida May Parke, who gave him substantial roles in their pictures, and further encouraged him to play macabre characters.

Lon Chaney Snr. also married one of his former colleagues in the Kolb and Dill company tour, a chorus girl named Hazel Hastings. Little is known of Hazel, except that her marriage to Lon Chaney Snr. was solid. Upon marrying, the new couple gained custody of Lon Chaney Snr’s 10 year-old son Creighton, who had resided in various homes and boarding schools since Lon Chaney Snr’s divorce in 1913.

By 1917 Lon Chaney Snr. was a prominent actor in the studio, but his salary did not reflect this status. When Lon Chaney Snr. asked for a raise, studio executive William Sistrom replied, “You’ll never be worth more than $100 a week.”

After leaving the studio, Lon Chaney Snr. struggled for the 1st year as a character actor. It was not until 1918 when playing a substantial role in William S. Hart’s picture, Riddle Gawne, that Lon Chaney Snr’s talents as a character actor were truly recognised by the industry.

In 1919, Lon Chaney Snr. had a breakthrough performance as, “The Frog,” in George Loane Tucker’s The Miracle Man. The film not only displayed Lon Chaney Snr.’s acting ability, but his talent as a master of makeup. Critical praise and a gross of over $2 000,000 put Lon Chaney Snr. on the map as America’s foremost character actor.

Lon Chaney Snr. is chiefly remembered as a pioneer in such silent horror films as, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and most notably, The Phantom of the Opera. Lon Chaney Snr.’s ability to transform himself using self-invented makeup techniques earned him the nickname of “Man of a Thousand Faces”. In an autobiographical 1925 article published in Movie magazine that gave a rare glimpse into his life, Lon Chaney Snr referred to his specialty as “extreme characterisation”.

Lon Chaney Snr also exhibited this adaptability with makeup in more conventional crime and adventure films, such as, The Penalty, where he played an amputee gangster. Lon Chaney Snr. appeared in a total of 10 films by director Tod Browning, often playing disguised and/or mutilated characters, including carnival knife thrower Alonzo the Armless in, The Unknown (1927), with Joan Crawford. In 1927, Lon Chaney Snr. co-starred with Conrad Nagel, Marceline Day, Henry B. Walthall and Polly Moran in the now lost Tod Browning directed horror classic, London After Midnight, quite possibly the most famous lost film ever. Lon Chaney Snr.’s last film was a remake with sound of his silent classic, The Unholy Three (1930), his only “talkie” and the only film in which he displayed his versatile voice. In fact, Lon Chaney Snr. signed a sworn statement declaring that 5 of the key voices in the film (the ventriloquist, old woman, parrot, dummy and girl) were in fact his own.

Although Lon Chaney Snr. created, in Quasimodo, the bell ringer of Notre Dame, and Erik, the “phantom” of the Paris Opera House, two of the most grotesquely deformed characters in film history, the portrayals sought to elicit a degree of sympathy and pathos among viewers not overwhelmingly terrified or repulsed by the monstrous disfigurements of the characters, who were merely victims of fate.

“I wanted to remind people that the lowest types of humanity may have within them the capacity for supreme self-sacrifice,” Lon Chaney Snr. wrote in Movie magazine. “The dwarfed, misshapen beggar of the streets may have the noblest ideals. Most of my roles since The Hunchback, such as The Phantom of the Opera, He Who Gets Slapped, The Unholy Three, etc., have carried the theme of self-sacrifice or renunciation. These are the stories which I wish to do.”

“He was someone who acted out our psyches. He somehow got into the shadows inside our bodies; he was able to nail down some of our secret fears and put them on-screen,” the writer Ray Bradbury once explained. “The history of Lon Chaney Snr. is the history of unrequited loves. Lon Chaney Snr. brings that part of you out into the open, because you fear that you are not loved, you fear that you never will be loved, you fear there is some part of you that’s grotesque, that the world will turn away from.”

Lon Chaney Snr.’s talents extended far beyond the horror genre, and stage makeup. Lon Chaney Snr. was also a highly skilled dancer, singer and comedian. In fact, many people who did not know Lon Chaney Snr. were surprised by his rich baritone voice and his sharp comedic skills.

Lon Chaney Snr. and his 2nd wife Hazel led a discreet private life distant from the Hollywood social scene. Lon Chaney Snr did minimal promotional work for his films and MGM studios, purposefully fostering a mysterious image, and he reportedly avoided the social scene in Hollywood on purpose.

In the final 5 years of his film career (1925-1930), Lon Chaney Snr. worked exclusively under contract to MGM, giving some of his most memorable performances. Lon Chaney Snr’.s portrayal of a tough-as-nails marine drill instructor in Tell It to the Marines (1926), one of his favorite films, earned him the affection of the US Marine Corps, who made him their first honorary member from the motion picture industry. Lon Chaney Snr. also earned the respect and admiration of numerous up and coming actors, as Lon Chaney Snr. was considered helpful towards new actors, showing them the ropes, and was always willing to talk to the cast and crew about his experiences between takes on films.

During the filming of Thunder in the winter of 1929, Lon Chaney Snr. developed pneumonia. In late 1929 he was diagnosed with bronchial lung cancer. Despite aggressive treatment, his condition gradually worsened, and 7 weeks after the release of the remake of The Unholy Three, he died of a throat hemorrhage. Lon Chaney Snr.’s death was deeply mourned by his family, the film industry and by his fans. The US Marine Corps provided a chaplain and Honor Guard for his funeral. Lon Chaney Snr. was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, in Glendale, California, USA next to the crypt of his father. Lon Chaney Snr.’s wife Hazel was also interred there upon her death in 1933. For unknown reasons, Lon Chaney Snr.’s crypt has remained unmarked.

Lon Chaney Snr. as “Mr. Wu,” conducting an orchestra of women.In 1957, Lon Chaney Snr. was the subject of a biopic titled Man of a Thousand Faces, and was portrayed by James Cagney. Though much of the plot was fictional, the film was a moving tribute to Lon Chaney Snr. and helped boost his posthumous fame. During his lifetime, Lon Chaney Snr. had boasted he would make it difficult for biographers to portray his life, saying that “between pictures, there is no Lon Chaney Snr.” This was in line with the air of mystery he purposefully fostered around his makeup and performances.

Lon Chaney Snr. has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1994, he was honored by having his image designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, placed on a United States postage stamp.

The stage theater at the Colorado Springs Civic Auditorium is named after Lon Chaney Snr.

In 1929, Lon Chaney Snr. built an impressive stone cabin in the remote wilderness of the eastern Sierra Nevada, near Big Pine, California, as a retreat. The cabin (designed by architect Paul Williams) still stands, and is preserved by the Inyo National Forest Service.

Lon Chaney Snr.’s son, Lon Chaney, Jr., became a film actor after his father’s death, and is best remembered for roles in horror films, especially The Wolf Man. The Chaneys appeared on US postage stamps as their signature characters, the Phantom of the Opera and the Wolf Man, with the set completed by Bela Lugosi as Dracula and Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster and The Mummy.

Lon Chaney Snr. and his son Lon Chaney Jnr. are mentioned in the Warren Zevon song “Werewolves of London”.

Many of Lon Chaney Snr.’s colleagues held him in high regard and he would often give advice and help actors who were just beginning their careers. Lon Chaney Snr. was also greatly respected by the film crews and studio employees with whom he worked.

Following his death, Lon Chaney Snr.’s famous makeup case was donated by his wife Hazel to the Los Angeles County Museum, where it is sometimes displayed for the public. Makeup artist and Lon Chaney Snr.’s biographer Michael Blake considers Lon Chaney Snr.’s case the central artifact in the history of film makeup.

In 1978, Gene Simmons of the rock band KISS wrote a song about Lon Chaney Snr. called “The Man of A Thousand Faces” for his first solo album. Simmons had been influenced by the old black and white classic horror movies growing up in New York City.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Laura Bridgman

Laura Dewey Bridgman was born on 21 December, 1829 in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA and died on 24 May, 1889. Laura was buried at Dana Cemetery in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA.

Laura is known as the 1st deaf-blind American child to gain a significant education in the English language, 50 years before the more famous Helen Keller. However, there are accounts of deaf-blind people communicating in tactile sign language before this time, and the deafblind Victorine Morriseau (1789-1832) had successfully learned French as a child some years earlier.

Laura was , being the 3rd daughter of Daniel Bridgman (d. 1868), a substantial Baptist farmer, and his wife Harmony, daughter of Cushman Downer, and granddaughter of Joseph Downer, one of the 5 1st settlers (1761) of Thetford, Vermont. Laura was a delicate infant, puny and rickety, and was subject to fits up to 20 months old, but otherwise seemed to have normal sense. However, Laura’s family was struck with scarlet fever when she was 2 years old. The illness killed her 2 older sisters and a brother and left her deaf, blind, and without a sense of smell or taste. Though she gradually recovered health she remained a deaf-blind, but was kindly treated and was in particular made a sort of playmate by an eccentric bachelor friend of the Bridgmans, Mr Asa Tenney, who as soon as she could walk used to take her for rambles a-field. Laura learned through touch to sew and knit as a child but had no language.

In 1837 Mr James Barrett, of Dartmouth College, saw her and mentioned her case to Dr Mussey, the head of the medical department, who wrote an account which attracted the attention of Dr Samuel Gridley Howe, the director of the Perkins School for the Blind at Boston. Dr Howe determined to try to get the child into the Institution and to attempt to educate her; her parents assented, and in October 1837 Laura entered the school.

Laura Bridgman was a comely child and of a sensitive and affectionate nature and was imitative in so far as she could follow the actions of others. However, she was limited in her communication to the narrower uses of touch. Laura’s mother, preoccupied with house-work, had already ceased to be able to control her, and her father’s authority was due to fear of superior force, not to reason. Dr Howe had been recently met Julia Brace, a deaf-blind resident at the American School for the Deaf who communicated using tactile sign, and developed a plan to teach the young Laura Bridgman to read and write through tactile means — something that had not been attempted previously, to his knowledge. At first he and his assistant, Lydia Drew, used words printed with raised letters, and later they progressed to using a manual alphabet expressed through tactile sign. Eventually she received a broad education.

Dr Howe taught words before the individual letters, and his 1st experiment consisting in pasting upon several common articles such as keys, spoons, knives, &c., little paper labels with the names of the articles printed in raised letters, which he got her to feel and differentiate; then he gave her the same labels by themselves, which she learned to associate with the articles they referred to, until, with the spoon or knife alone before her she could find the right label for each from a mixed heap. The next stage was to give her the component letters and teach her to combine them in the words she knew, and gradually in this way she learned all the alphabet and the 10 digits. The whole process depended, of course, on her having a human intelligence, which only required stimulation, and her own interest in learning became keener as she progressed.

Dr Howe devoted himself with the utmost patience and assiduity to her education and was rewarded by increasing success. On the 24th of July 1839 she 1st wrote her own name legibly. On the 20th of June 1840 she had her 1st arithmetic lesson, by the aid of a metallic case perforated with square holes, square types being used; and in 19 days she could add a column of figures amounting to 30. Laura was in good health and happy, and was treated by Dr Howe as his daughter. Laura’s case already began to interest the public, and others were brought to Dr Howe for treatment.

In 1841 Laura began to keep a journal, in which she recorded her own day’s work and thoughts. In January 1842 Charles Dickens visited the Institution, and afterwards wrote enthusiastically in his American Notes of Dr Howe’s success with Laura. In 1843 funds were obtained for devoting a special teacher to her, and first Miss Swift, then Miss Wight, and then Miss Paddock, were appointed; Laura by this time was learning geography and elementary astronomy. By degrees she was given religious instruction, but Dr Howe was intent upon not inculcating dogma before she had grasped the essential truths of Christianity and the story of the Bible.

Laura grew up a happy, cheerful girl, loving, optimistic, but with a nervous system inclining to irritability, and requiring careful education in self-control. In 1860 her eldest sister Mary’s death helped to bring on a religious crisis, and through the influence of some of her family she was received into the Baptist church; she became for some years after this more self-conscious and rather pietistic. In 1867 she began writing compositions which she called poems; the best-known is called “Holy Home.”

In 1872, Dr Howe having been enabled to build some separate cottages (each under a matron) for the blind girls, Laura was moved from the larger house of the Institution into one of them, and there she continued her quiet life. The death of Dr Howe in 1876 was a great grief to her; but before he died he had made arrangements by which she would be financially provided for in her home at the Institution for the rest of her life. In 1887 her jubilee was celebrated there, but in 1889 she was taken ill, and she died on the 24th of May. Laura’s name has become familiar everywhere as ,an example of the education of a deaf-blind. Helen Keller’s mother Kate Keller read Dickens’ account and was inspired to seek advice which led to her hiring a teacher and former pupil of the same school, Anne Sullivan. Anne learned the manual alphabet from Laura which she took back to Helen, along with a doll that Laura had made for her.

A Liberty ship was named after her.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend John Brewster Jr.

John Brewster Jr. Was born on 30 May or 31 May, 1766 in Hampton, Connecticut, USA and died in 1854. John was a prolific, deaf itinerant painter who produced many charming portraits of well-off New England families, especially their children. John lived much of the latter half of his life in Buxton, Maine, USA, recording the faces of much of Maine’s elite society of his time.

According to the website of the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York, “John was not an artist who incidentally was Deaf but rather a Deaf artist, one in a long tradition that owes many of its features and achievements to the fact that Deaf people are, as scholars have noted, visual people.”

John’s father, Dr. John Brewster Sr., and his stepmother, Ruth Avery Brewster, c. 1795–1800 Little is known about John’s childhood or youth. John was the 3rd child born in Hampton, Connecticut, to Dr. John and Mary (Durkee) Brewster. John’s mother died when he was 17. John’s father remarried Ruth Avery of Brooklyn, Connecticut, and they went on to have four more children.

John Brewster Sr., a doctor and descendant of William Brewster, the Pilgrim leader, was a member of the Connecticut General Assembly and also active in the local church.

Unidentified Boy with Book (1810) by John Brewster, Jr. (from the collection of the Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut) One of the younger John’s “more touching and polished full-length portraits” is of his father and stepmother, according to Ben Genocchio, who wrote a review of an exhibition of John’s portraits in the New York Times. They are shown at home in conventional poses and wearing refined but not opulent dress in a modestly furnished room. John’s mother sits behind her husband, reading while he is writing. “She stares directly at the viewer, though softly, even submissively, while her husband stares off into the distance as if locked in some deep thought.”

As a deaf from birth, and growing up in a time when no standardised sign language for the deaf existed, the young John probably interacted with few people outside of the circle of his family and friends, with whom he would have learned to communicate. A kindly minister taught him to paint, and by the 1790s he was traveling through Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and eastern New York State, taking advantage of his family connections to offer his services to the wealthy merchant class.

John’s younger brother, Dr. Royal Brewster, moved to Buxton, Maine in late 1795. The artist either moved up with him or followed shortly afterward and painted likenesses in and around Portland in between trips back to Connecticut.

James Prince and Son, William Henry (1801) by John Brewster, Jr. Prince was a wealthy merchant from Newburyport, a shipping center in Massachusetts. The painter included numerous expensive luxuries to show Prince as wealthy and a gentleman: Curtains and a fine floor indicated wealth; the bookcase with books and the desk suggest learning. The boy is symbolised as entering world of adults by his holding a letter. (from the collection of the Historical Society of Old Newbury) John probably communicated with others using pantomime and a small amount of writing. In this way, despite his deafness, John managed the business of arranging poses along with negotiating prices and artistic ideas with his sitters. As an itinerant portraitist working in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in the United States, he would travel great distances, often staying in unfamiliar places for months at a time.

John’s deafness may have given John some advantages in portrait painting, according to the Florence Griswold Museum exhibit web page: “Unable to hear and speak, John focused his energy and ability to capture minute differences in facial expression. John also greatly emphasised the gaze of his sitters, as eye contact was such a critical part of communication among the Deaf. Scientific studies have proven that since Deaf people rely on visual cues for communication [they] can differentiate subtle differences in facial expressions much better than hearing people.”

John’s early, large portraits show the influence of the work of Ralph Earl (1751–1801), another itinerant painter. Paintings by the 2 artists (especially in John’s early work) show similar scale, costumes, composition and settings, Paul D’Ambrosio has pointed out in a catalog (2005) for a traveling exhibition of John’s work, “A Deaf Artist in Early America: The Worlds of John Brewster Jr.”

Ralph was influenced by the 18th century English “Grand Manner” style of painting, with its dramatic, grand, very rhetorical style (exemplified in many portraits by Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Ralph and John refashioned the style, changing it from lofty and grand to more humble and casual settings.

Mother with Son (Lucy Knapp Mygatt and Son, George, of Danbury, Connecticut), 1799 In the early 19th century, John habitually painted half-length portraits which saved him labor, saved his patrons money and “were better suited to his limited abilities,” according to Genocchio. Some of the paintings are almost identical, down to the same clothes and furniture, with only the heads setting them apart.

In 1805 his brother, Dr. Royal Brewster, finished construction of his Federal style house in Buxton, and John Brewster moved in. For the rest of his life, he lived in the home with his brother’s family.

By about 1805, John had his own style of portraying children in full length, with skimpy garments or nightclothes, soft, downy hair and big, cute eyes for a sweet, appealing affect but, the perspective problems remained, with the figures seeming out of scale with their environment.

At about this time the artist also began to sign and date his paintings more frequently. John also moved away from the large-format Grand Manner-influenced style and turned to smaller, more intimate portraits in which he focused more attention on the faces of his subjects.

In the years just before 1817, John traveled farther for clients as his career flourished.

Francis O. Watts with Bird (1805) by John Brewster, Jr. (from the collection of the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York) Typical of  John Brewster’s portraits is “Francis O. Watts with Bird” (1805), showing “an innocent looking boy with manly features” wearing a nightslip and holding a bird on his finger and with a string. The surrounding landscape is “strangely low and wildly out of scale—the young boy towers over trees and dwarfs distant mountains. John looks like a giant,” Genocchio has written. Or he looks as if the viewer must be lying down, looking up at the child from the ground. John always struggled with the relationship of his figures to the background.

A more positive view of the portrait comes from the Web page about the 2006 exhibit at the Florence Griswold Museum website: “Brewster’s serene and ethereal portrait of Francis O. Watts is one of his most compelling portraits of a child. In this work—particularly Francis’ white dress and the peaceful landscape he inhabits—modern viewers often feel a palpable sense of the silence that was John’s world.

“The bird on the string symbolises mortality because only after the child’s death could the bird go free, just like the child’s soul. Infant mortality was high during John’s time and artists employed this image often in association with children.”

Moses Quinby (c. 1810–1815). Moses was a successful lawyer from Stroudwater, Maine. Moses was probably painted when John was traveling in Maine. From 1817 to 1820, John interrupted his career to learn sign language, a newly developed help for the deaf, at the Connecticut Asylum in Hartford, now known as the American School for the Deaf.

John, at the age of 51, was by far the oldest in a class of 7 students, the average age of which was 19. It was the 1st class that attended the school and witnessed the birth of American Sign Language (ASL).

When John returned to Buxton and to his portraits, “he seems to have taken more care when painting the faces of his subjects,” Genocchio wrote,” resulting in portraits that show an increased sensitivity to the characters of his subjects.”

After the 1830s, little is known of John Snr’s work or of John Jnr.’s Work.

Reverend Daniel Marrett (1831). An example of  John portraits from his late career, many of which show great depth and strength of characterisation. Reverend Daniel Marrett’s furrowed brow and chisled features convey the seriousness of his convictions. The paper he holds quotes Amos 4:12, “Prepare to meet thy God.” (from the collection of Historic New England/SPNEA) John “created hauntingly beautiful images of American life during the formative period of the nation,” according to a page at the Fenimore Art Museum website devoted to a 2005–2006 exhibition of the artist’s work. “Working in a style that emphasised simpler settings [than the “Grand Manner” style], along with broad, flat areas of colour, and soft, expressive facial features, John achieved a directness and intensity of vision rarely equaled.”

The Fenimore website also says, “His extant portraits show his ability to produce delicate and sensitive likenesses in full-size or miniature, and in oil on canvas or ivory. John was especially successful in capturing childhood innocence in his signature full-length likenesses of young children.

The website says Brewster left “an invaluable record of his era and a priceless artistic legacy.”

According to the anonymous writer of the Florence Griswold Museum’s web page about the same exhibit, “Brewster’s deafness may also have shaped his mature portrait style, which centers on his emphasis on the face of his sitters, particularly the gaze. He managed to achieve a penetrating grasp of personality in likenesses that engage the viewer directly. Brewster combined a muted palette that highlights flesh tones with excellent draftsmanship to draw attention to the eyes of his sitters. The importance of direct eye contact to a deaf person cannot be overstated.”[2]

The same writer also says, “Brewster was one of the greatest folk painters in American history as one of the key figures in the Connecticut style of American Folk Portraiture. In addition, Brewster’s paintings serve as a key part of Maine history. Brewster was the most prolific painter of the Maine elite, documenting through the portraits details of the life of Maine’s federal elite.”

Genocchio, reviewing the exhibit for the New York Times, took a dimmer view, noting John’s difficulty with painting backgrounds but admiring his “sweetly appealing” paintings of children.

Some individual works

Unidentified Woman in a Landscape (c. 1805) (from the collection of the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York)Boy with Book (1810); unidentified subject (Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut, collection)

Francis O. Watts with Bird (1805) (Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, collection)

Dr. John Brewster and Ruth Avery Brewster (c. 1795–1800) (Old Sturbridge Village collection)

Mother with Son (Lucy Knapp Mygatt and Son, George) (1799) (Palmer Museum of Art of the Pennsylvania State University collection)

James Prince and Son, William Henry (1801) (Historical Society of Old Newbury collection)

Woman in a Landscape (unidentified subject ) (c. 1805) (Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, collection)

Moses Quinby (c. 1810–1815) (Bowdoin College Museum of Art collection)

Reverend Daniel Marrett, 1831 (Historic New England/SPNEA collection)

Exhibits

“A Deaf Artist in Early America: The Worlds of John Brewster Jr.,” Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, April 1 to December 31, 2005;

Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut, June 3 through September 10, 2006

(Florence Griswold Museum exhibition sponsored in connection with The American School for the Deaf). The show, with some augmentation, was at the American Folk Art Museum, New York City, from October 2006 to January 7, 2007.

The Saco Museum in Saco, Maine, is believed to hold the largest collection of John Brewster, Jr., paintings, including the only known full-length (74 5/8 inches long) adult portraits, Colonel Thomas Cutts and Mrs. Thomas Cutts.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Irving King Jordan

Irving King Jordan was born on 16 June, 1943 made history in 1988 when he became the first deaf president of Gallaudet University, the world’s only university with all programs and services designed specifically for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. That year Gallaudet students, with support from many alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University, protested the Board of Trustees’ appointment of a hearing person to the presidency.

Called Deaf President Now (DPN), the week-long protest was a watershed event in the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing people all over the world. At its conclusion, the Board reversed its decision and named Irving King Jordan, 1 of 3 finalists for the position, the 8th president of Gallaudet and the 1st deaf president since the institution was established in 1864.

Irving King Jordan is a native of Glen Riddle, a small town near Philadelphia in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, Penncrest High School, in 1962, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served 4 years. Irving King Jordan became deaf at the age of 21 when, while driving a motorcycle, he obtained a skull fracture due to not wearing a helmet after having been flung into the windshield of a car.

As professor, department chair, dean, and president, Irving King Jordan has made numerous scholarly contributions to his field. In addition, he has been a research fellow at Donaldson’s School for the Deaf in Edinburgh, Scotland, an exchange scholar at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and a visiting scholar and lecturer at schools in the French cities of Paris, Toulouse, and Marseille.

Irving King Jordan and his wife, Linda, live in West River, Maryland. They have 2 grown children. Irving King Jordan loves running daily.

Irving King Jordan holds 11 honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards, among them: the Presidential Citizen’s Medal, the Washingtonian of the Year Award, the James L. Fisher Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Larry Stewart Award from the American Psychological Association, and the Distinguished Leadership Award from the National Association for Community Leadership. In 1990, President Bush appointed Irving King Jordan Vice Chair of the President’s Committee on Employment of People with disabilities.

On campus, he was widely applauded for his successful efforts to increase funding, including funds for the expansion and construction of 2 new large-scale centers for education research and support.

On Thursday, 1 September, 2005, Irving King Jordan announced his intentions to retire from the Presidency effective 31 December, 2006.

Irving King Jordan became the subject of controversy himself when he defended the controversial decision made on 1 May, 2006 by the Board of Trustees to appoint Dr. Jane Fernandes as president designate. The announcement of her selection set off a campus-wide protest.

Critics claim that Ms. Fernandes was not highly regarded by both the faculty and students, and many deeply suspect Dr. Jordan orchestrated her ascension for personal reasons. Dr. Jordan, taking a line from page 10 of the 1995 book, “Deaf President Now” (by Christiansen and Barnartt), publicly accused some critics of rejecting Ms. Fernandes because she was allegedly not “deaf enough”. They replied that such a charge is off-base, because Irving King Jordan himself was accepted as president, even though he did not become deaf until he was 21. The protesters insisted that they protested for more profound reasons, such as Ms. Fernandes’ character, leadership, and policies.

The protesters also took issue with the fact that during escalating tensions between the administration and protesters in October 2006, Irving King Jordan proceeded to host ceremonies in which the Student Academic Center was renamed after him while a wing in the Washburn Arts Building was renamed after his wife. Many of the dissenters took the moves as a sign of Irving King Jordan’s arrogance and narcissistic attitude.

On 13 October, 2006, Irving King Jordan ordered mass arrests of Gallaudet University Students at the 6th street gate. Dubbed as Black Friday, a total of 135 student-protesters were arrested. The bail was originally set at $250 as requested by Irving King Jordan. The D.C. Metropolitan Police later decided to set it at $50. This set off even larger protest the following day estimated at 1,000 people.

Many in the deaf community interpreted Irving King Jordan’s actions in arresting the protesters as an act of political suicide on his part. The protesters prevailed soon thereafter, on 29 October 2006 when the Gallaudet Board of Trustees met and voted to rescind Jane Fernandes’s contract to be the 9th President of Gallaudet.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Guillaume Amontons

Guillaume Amontons was born on 31 August, 1663 in Paris, France and died on 11 October, 1705 in Paris, France. Guillaume was a French scientific instrument inventor and physicist. Guillaume was one of the pioneers in tribology, apart from Leonardo da Vinci, John Theophilius Desanguliers, Leonard Euler and Charles-Augustin de Coulomb.

Guillaume’s father was a lawyer from Normandy who had moved to the French capital. While still young, Guillaume lost his hearing, which may have motivated him to focus entirely on science. Guillaume never attended a university, but was able to study mathematics, the physical sciences, and celestial mechanics. Guillaume also spent time studying the skills of drawing, surveying, and architecture. Guillaume was supported in his research career by the government, and was employed in various public works projects.

Among his contributions to scientific instrumentation were improvements to the barometer (1695), hygrometer (1687), and thermometer (1695), particularly for use of these instruments at sea. Guillaume also demonstrated an optical telegraph and proposed the use of his clepsydra (water clock) for keeping time on a ship at sea.

Guillaume investigated the relationship between pressure and temperature in gases though he lacked accurate and precise thermometers. Though his results were at best semi-quantitative, he established that the pressure of a gas increases by roughly 1/3 between the temperatures of cold and the boiling point of water. This was a substantial step towards the subsequent gas laws and, in particular, Charles’s law.

Guillaume’s work led him to speculate that a sufficient reduction in temperature would lead to the disappearance of pressure. Thus, he is the first researcher to discuss the concept of an absolute zero of temperature, a concept later extended and rationalised by William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin. In 1699, Guillaume published his rediscovery of the laws of friction first put forward by Leonardo da Vinci. Though they were received with some scepticism, the laws were verified by Charles-Augustin de Coulomb in 1781.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)) can be named as the father of modern tribology as he studied an incredible manifold of tribological subtopics such as: friction, wear, bearing materials, plain bearings, lubrication systems, gears, screw-jacks, and rolling-element bearings. 150 years before Guillaume’s Laws of Friction were introduced, he had already recorded them in his manuscripts. Hidden or lost for centuries, Leonardo da Vinci’s manuscripts were read in Spain a quarter of a millennium later.

Guillaume’s Laws of Friction were first recorded in books during the late 17th century.

There 3 laws of friction are:

  • 1. The force of friction is directly proportional to the applied load. (Guillaume’s 1st Law)
  • 2. The force of friction is independent of the apparent area of contact. (Guillaume’s 2nd Law)
  • 3. Kinetic friction is independent of the sliding velocity. (Coulomb’s Law)

NOTE: These 3 laws only apply to dry friction, in which the addition of a lubricant modifies the tribological properties signifiantly.

By looking at any surface on the microscopic level, one would find that it is never perfectly flat. There would exist many tiny bumps and craters, due to imperfections on the surface and the alignment of molecules. (The skin does not feel the bumps and craters because they are too small to be detected.) Considering a smooth stone on a smooth flat road, the 2 surfaces would be still in contact, but only at a few points (the bumps do fot fit exactly into the craters). Due to electrostatic forces of repulsion between the atoms (nuclei and nuclei) of the stone and the road, the road will exert a force on the stone, and the stone will exert a force on the road (normal contact forces). The NET force exerted on the stone would be the NORMAL contact force.

If net external forces cause the stone to move to the RIGHT, the forces that the road exert on the stone would be slightly skewed to the LEFT, thus the net force will be pointing UP but LEFTWARD (tilted contact force). As the vertical component of the net force is the normal contact force, the extra horizontal leftward component of the force would therefore be the FRICTIONAL force. (Note: friction OPPOSES motion)

Suppose the stone had a greater mass (hence greater weight as g=constant). The stone would then:

  • exert a greater force on the road (the increased load causes the separation distance of the nuclei to decrease, force of repulsion becomes stronger(inverse-square law) ), AND
  • more of the atoms of the road and the stone would be in contact.

Hence, when the stone is moved, a greater frictional force would be produced (more areas of contact means that more forces can be skewed, producing more horizontal components of the contact forces).

Guillaume’s law applies to any 2 surfaces, regardless of their orientation. (e.g. pressing a brick against the ceiling, etc.)

NOTE: Applied load means the normal contact force acting on the stone. That is, if the stone is being pushed down harder while it was trying to move, the force acting on the ground increases, and hence the force of the ground acting on the stone (normal contact) increases. This means that more force is required to move the stone across the ground. (frictional force increase)

What this law means is that if two equal masses made of similar material are resting on the same surface with DIFFERENT SURFACES AREAS OF CONTACT, they would require the SAME AMOUNT of FORCE to start moving (overcome static friction) and to move at constant speed+.

To put it in another way: considering 2 equal masses, and the area in contact in situation A is greater than in situation B. This only means that in situation A, the load is distributed across a greater area then in situation B. However, the applied load is still the same! Thus to move both masses, we would require the same amount of applied force to overcome friction. (Guillaume’s First Law)

+ To maintain constant speed, net force has to be 0N. Assuming no drag forces,
 \begin{align} F_{applied}-F_{fric} & = 0 \\ \therefore F_{applied} & = F_{fric} \\ \end{align}

Through studies and experimental observations on the properties of friction, a relationship between frictional force and normal contact force was established:

\begin{align}F_{fric}=\mu N\end{align},

where μ is the coefficient of friction and N is the normal contact force.

This is as predicted by Guillaume’s 2 laws, where Ffric depends only on the normal contact force (reaction pair of the applied load), and is independent of the surface area in contact.

However, exceptions to Guillaume’s Law have been observed in various nanometric scenarios. For example, when 2 surfaces get close enough such that molecular interactions and atomic forces come into play, the 2 surfaces are attracted together and form what was known as ‘negative load’.

*requires verfication by Specialists*

Honours:

  • Member, Académie des Sciences, (1690)
  • The Amontons crater on the Moon is named after him.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Georgia Horsley

Georgia Faye Horsley was born in 1987 in Malton, North Yorkshire, England. Georgia Horsley won the Miss England 2007 title and the opportunity to represent England in the Miss World 2007 pageant which was held in Sanya, China on the 1 December that year. During her year as Miss England Georgia Horsley is keen to help the deaf association and cancer charities.

Georgia Horsley hails from and has been working as a model and florist. Georgia Horsley has 10 GCSEs, an A Level in Art, 2 AS Levels in Geography and Sociology, a diploma in Anatomy and Physiology, and a Red Cross Therapeutic care course qualification. Georgia Horsley’s aim was to pursue a career as a media make-up artist and she was due to start a degree in design and media make-up at university before she won the title of Miss England.

Georgia Horsley has her success at one of the fast track events held during the pageant when she was one of the top 18 semifinalists of the Miss World Talent. In spite of being one of the early favourites of the contest, she failed to secure a place in the top 16 on the final night.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Francisco Goya

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was born on 30 March, 1746 in Fuendetodos, Spain, in the kingdom of Aragón and died on 16 April, 1828 in Bordeaux of ill health at the age of 82.

Francisco Goya was an Aragonese Spanish painter and printmaker. Francisco Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown and a chronicler of history. Francisco Goya has been regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and as the first of the moderns. The subversive and subjective element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet and Picasso.

Francisco Goya was born to José Benito de Goya y Franque and Gracia de Lucientes y Salvador. Francisco Goya spent his childhood in Fuendetodos, where his family lived in a house bearing the family crest of his mother. Francisco Goya’s father earned his living as a gilder. About 1749, the family bought a house in the city of Zaragoza and some years later moved into it. Francisco Goya attended school at Escuelas Pias, where he formed a close friendship with Martin Zapater, and their correspondence over the years became valuable material for biographies of Francisco Goya. At the age of 14, he entered apprenticeship with the painter José Luján.

Francisco Goya later moved to Madrid where he studied with Anton Raphael Mengs, a painter who was popular with Spanish royalty. Francisco Goya clashed with his master, and his examinations were unsatisfactory. Francisco Goya submitted entries for the Royal Academy of Fine Art in 1763 and 1766, but was denied entrance.

Francisco Goya then journeyed to Rome, where in 1771 he won 2nd prize in a painting competition organized by the City of Parma. Later that year, he returned to Zaragoza and painted a part of the cupola of the Basilica of the Pillar, frescoes of the oratory of the cloisters of Aula Dei, and the frescoes of the Sobradiel Palace. Francisco Goya studied with Francisco Bayeu y Subías and his painting began to show signs of the delicate tonalities for which he became famous.

Francisco Goya married Bayeu’s sister Josefa in 1774. Francisco Goya’s marriage to Josefa (he nicknamed her “Pepa”), and Francisco Bayeu’s membership of the Royal Academy of Fine Art (from the year 1765) helped him to procure work with the Royal Tapestry Workshop. There, over the course of 5 years, he designed some 42 patterns, many of which were used to decorate (and insulate) the bare stone walls of El Escorial and the Palacio Real de El Pardo, the newly built residences of the Spanish monarchs. This brought his artistic talents to the attention of the Spanish monarchs who later would give him access to the royal court. Francisco Goya also painted a canvas for the altar of the Church of San Francisco El Grande, which led to his appointment as a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Art.

In 1783, the Count of Floridablanca, a favorite of King Carlos III, commissioned him to paint his portrait. Francisco Goya also became friends with Crown Prince Don Luis, and lived in his house. Francisco Goya’s circle of patrons grew to include the Duke and Duchess of Osuna, whom he painted, the King and other notable people of the kingdom.

After the death of Charles III in 1788 and revolution in France in 1789, during the reign of Charles IV, Francisco Goya reached his peak of popularity with royalty.

After contracting a high fever in 1792 Francisco Goya was left deaf, and he became withdrawn and introspective. During the 5 years he spent recuperating, he read a great deal about the French Revolution and its philosophy. The bitter series of aquatinted etchings that resulted were published in 1799 under the title Caprichos. The dark visions depicted in these prints are partly explained by his caption, “The sleep of reason produces monsters”. Yet these are not solely bleak in nature and demonstrate the artist’s sharp satirical wit, particularly evident in etchings such as Hunting for Teeth. Additionally, one can discern a thread of the macabre running through Francisco Goya’s work, even in his earlier tapestry cartoons.

The Family of Charles IV, 1800. Théophile Gautier described the figures as looking like “the corner baker and his wife after they won the lottery”.

In 1786 Francisco Goya was appointed painter to Charles III, and in 1789 was made court painter to Charles IV. In 1799 he was appointed First Court Painter with a salary of 50,000 reales and 500 ducats for a coach. Francisco Goya worked on the cupola of the Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida; he painted the King and the Queen, royal family pictures, portraits of the Prince of the Peace and many other nobles. Francisco Goya’s portraits are notable for their disinclination to flatter, and in the case of The Family of Charles IV, the lack of visual diplomacy is remarkable.

Francisco Goya received orders from many friends within the Spanish nobility. Among those from whom he procured portrait commissions were Pedro de Álcantara Téllez-Girón, 9th Duke of Osuna and his wife María Josefa de la Soledad, 9th Duchess of Osuna, María del Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva Alvarez de Toledo, 13th Duchess of Alba (universally known simply as the “Duchess of Alba”), and her husband José Alvarez de Toledo y Gonzaga, 13th Duke of Alba, and María Ana de Pontejos y Sandoval, Marchioness of Pontejos.

Saturn Devouring His Son, 1819. The title, like all those given to the Black Paintings, was assigned by others after Francisco Goya’s death. As French forces invaded Spain during the Peninsular War (1808–1814), the new Spanish court received him as had its predecessors.

When Josefa died in 1812, Francisco Goya was painting The Charge of the Mamelukes and The Third of May 1808, and preparing the series of prints known as The Disasters of War (Los desastres de la guerra).

King Ferdinand VII came back to Spain but relations with Francisco Goya were not cordial. In 1814 Francisco Goya was living with his housekeeper Doña Leocadia and her illegitimate daughter, Rosario Weiss; the young woman studied painting with Francisco Goya, who may have been her father. Francisco Goya continued to work incessantly on portraits, pictures of Santa Justa and Santa Rufina, lithographs, pictures of tauromachy, and more. With the idea of isolating himself, he bought a house near Manzanares, which was known as the Quinta del Sordo (roughly, “House of the Deaf Man”, titled after its previous owner and not Francisco Goya himself). There he made the Black Paintings.

Francisco Goya left Spain in May 1824 for Bordeaux, where he settled, in Paris.

Francisco Goya painted the Spanish royal family, including Charles IV of Spain and Ferdinand VII. Francisco Goya’s themes range from merry festivals for tapestry, draft cartoons, to scenes of war and corpses. This evolution reflects the darkening of his temper. Modern physicians suspect that the lead in his pigments poisoned him and caused his deafness since 1792. Near the end of his life, he became reclusive and produced frightening and obscure paintings of insanity, madness, and fantasy. The style of these Black Paintings prefigure the expressionist movement. Francisco Goya often painted himself into the foreground.

2 of Francisco Goya’s best known paintings are The Nude Maja (La maja desnuda) and The Clothed Maja (La maja vestida). They depict the same woman in the same pose, naked and clothed, respectively. Francisco Goya painted La maja vestida after outrage in Spanish society over the previous Desnuda. Without a pretense to allegorical or mythological meaning, the painting was “the first totally profane life-size female nude in Western art”. Francisco Goya refused to paint clothes on her, and instead created a new painting.

The identity of the Majas is uncertain. The most popularly cited subjects are the Duchess of Alba, with whom Francisco Goya is thought to have had an affair, and the mistress of Manuel de Godoy, who subsequently owned the paintings. Neither theory has been verified, and it remains as likely that the paintings represent an idealised composite. In 1808 all Godoy’s property was seized by Ferdinand VI after his fall from power and exile, and in 1813 the Inquisition confiscated both works as ‘obscene’, returning them in 1836.

In a period of convalescence during 1793–1794, Francisco Goya completed a set of 11 small pictures painted on tin; the pictures known as Fantasy and Invention mark a significant change in his art. These paintings no longer represent the world of popular carnival, but rather a dark, dramatic realm of fantasy and nightmare. Courtyard with Lunatics is a horrifying and imaginary vision of loneliness, fear and social alienation, a departure from the rather more superficial treatment of mental illness in the works of earlier artists such as Hogarth. In this painting, the ground, sealed by masonry blocks and iron gate, is occupied by patients and a single warden. The patients are variously staring, sitting, posturing, wrestling, grimacing or disciplining themselves. The top of the picture vanishes with sunlight, emphasizing the nightmarish scene below.

This picture can be read as an indictment of the widespread punitive treatment of the insane, who were confined with criminals, put in iron manacles, and subjected to physical punishment. And this intention is to be taken into consideration since one of the essential goals of the enlightenment was to reform the prisons and asylums, a subject common in the writings of Voltaire and others. The condemnation of brutality towards prisoners (whether they were criminals or insane) was the subject of many of Goya’s later paintings.

As he completed this painting, Francisco Goya was himself undergoing a physical and mental breakdown. It was a few weeks after the French declaration of war on Spain, and Francisco Goya’s illness was developing. A contemporary reported, “the noises in his head and deafness aren’t improving, yet his vision is much better and he is back in control of his balance.” Francisco Goya’s symptoms may indicate a prolonged viral encephalitis or possibly a series of miniature strokes resulting from high blood pressure and affecting hearing and balance centers in the brain. Other postmortem diagnostic assessment points toward paranoid dementia due to unknown brain trauma (perhaps due to the unknown illness which he reported). If this is the case, from here on – we see an insidious assault of his faculties, manifesting as paranoid features in his paintings, culminating in his black paintings and especially Saturn Devouring His Sons.

In 1799 Francisco Goya published a series of 80 prints titled Caprichos depicting what he called

“ …the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance, or self-interest have made usual. ”

In The Third of May, 1808: The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid, Francisco Goya attempted to “perpetuate by the means of his brush the most notable and heroic actions of our glorious insurrection against the Tyrant of Europe” The painting does not show an incident that Francisco Goya witnessed; rather it was meant as more abstract commentary.

In later life Francisco Goya bought a house, called Quinta del Sordo (“Deaf Man’s House”), and painted many unusual paintings on canvas and on the walls, including references to witchcraft and war. One of these is the famous work Saturn Devouring His Sons (known informally in some circles as Devoration or Saturn Eats His Child), which displays a Greco-Roman mythological scene of the god Saturn consuming a child, a reference to Spain’s ongoing civil conflicts. Moreover, the painting has been seen as “the most essential to our understanding of the human condition in modern times, just as Michelangelo’s Sistine ceiling is essential to understanding the tenor of the 16th century”.

What more can one do?, from The Disasters of War, 1812-15. This painting is 1 of 14 in a series known as the Black Paintings. After his death the wall paintings were transferred to canvas and remain some of the best examples of the later period of Francisco Goya’s life when, deafened and driven half-mad by what was probably an encephalitis of some kind, he decided to free himself from painterly strictures of the time and paint whatever nightmarish visions came to him. Many of these works are in the Prado museum in Madrid.

In the 1810s, Francisco Goya created a set of aquatint prints titled The Disasters of War (Los desastres de la guerra) which depict scenes from the Peninsular War. The scenes are singularly disturbing, sometimes macabre in their depiction of battlefield horror, and represent an outraged conscience in the face of death and destruction. The prints were not published until 1863, 35 years after Francisco Goya’s death.

The findings of research published since 2003 have raised questions regarding the authenticity of some of Francisco Goya’s late works. One study claims that the Black Paintings were applied to walls that did not exist in Francisco Goya’s home before he left for France. In 2008 the Prado Museum reverted the traditional attribution of The Colossus, and expressed doubts over the authenticity of 3 other paintings attributed to Francisco Goya as well.

Remembrance plaque for Francisco Goya in Bordeaux Enrique Granados composed a piano suite (1911) and later an opera (1916), both called Goyescas, inspired by the artist’s paintings. Gian Carlo Menotti wrote a biographical opera about him titled Goya (1986), commissioned by Plácido Domingo, who originated the role; this production has been presented on television. Francisco Goya also inspired Michael Nyman’s opera Facing Goya (2000), and Francisco Goya is the central character in Clive Barker’s play Colossus (1995).

Several films portray Francisco Goya’s life. These include a short film, Goya (1948), Goya, Historia de una Soledad (1971), Goya in Bordeaux (1999), Volavérunt (1999) and Goya’s Ghosts (2006).

In 1988 American musical theatre composer Maury Yeston released a studio cast album of his own musical, Goya: A Life In Song, in which Plácido Domingo again starred as Goya.

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