Blind in Art Finding Aid
TITLE: Blind in Art Collection
DATE RANGE: 1700s-1980s, bulk 1880-1910
CALL NUMBER: AG129
Unknown. Greatly enhanced by former Perkins director Michael Anagnos- especially through a friendship with the director of a school for the blind in Vienna named Alexander Mell.
This collection consists of reproduction prints, posters, photographs, clippings and a few original art objects relating to the depiction of the blind in art. The collection is heavily European with French, English, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, and Italian art with some sections from the United States, Japan, India and Peru. Subjects include famous individuals with visual impairments, mythological characters, biblical characters, educational communities that serve the blind, Latin American ceramics, depictions of “the blind leading the blind”, blind beggars or mendicants, blind musicians, seeing eye dogs, political cartoons about visual impairments and other topics relating to the history of blindness, stereotypes, and depictions from other aspects of popular culture and the media.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 21 linear feet
PROCESSING NOTE: Processed by Molly Stothert-Maurer, 2012. This collection was processed with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, Washington, D.C., 2012-2015.
Perkins is the oldest school for the blind in the United States. Since its incorporation in 1829, it has had a number of different names, as well as various locations in the greater Boston area. Under the leadership of its first director, Samuel Gridley Howe, the New England Asylum for the Blind opened its doors in August of 1832 at 140 Pleasant Street in Boston. In 1833 the school moved to a house on Pearl Street that had been donated by Colonel Thomas Handasyd Perkins, a wealthy merchant and philanthropist. Perkins later allowed the property to be sold to enable the school to purchase a former hotel in South Boston, and the school moved there in May 1839. In recognition of his generosity, the Board of Trustees named the school the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind. In 1887, the second director of Perkins, Michael Anagnos, founded the first kindergarten for the blind, located in Jamaica Plain. The school moved to its current location in Watertown in 1912, where it is located on a 38.5 acre property on the banks of the Charles River.
Throughout its history, Perkins has attracted visitors from around the world. One of its first prominent guests was Charles Dickens, who visited in 1842 and wrote about the experience in his book American Notes. This book caught the attention of Helen Keller’s mother, and prompted her to contact the school in search of assistance to educate her daughter.
It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Perkins School for the Blind, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.
Blind in Art Collection. Perkins School for the Blind.
Blind in Art Flickr Collection
Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind
Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind. Kindergarten for the Blind
Perkins School for the Blind
Perkins School for the Blind--History.
CONTAINER LIST: 43 boxes.
Box 1: Louis Dulon, bound volume , 3 prints
Box 2: John Milton, bound volume (some loose items)
Box 3: Henry Fawcett, bound volume
Box 4: Nicholas Saunderson, bound volume
Box 5: Typen von der blinden Kindern, photographs of blind students with a range of emotional expressions, by Alexander Mell, in bound volume
Box 6: Tobias, bound volume
Box 7: Colored Pictures of the Blind, bound volume. Many Political cartoons from French and German periodicals: L'Assiette au Beurre and Simplicissimus
Box 8: Nicholas Bacon, bound volume
Box 9: Madame du Deffand, bound volume
Box 10: John Stanley, bound volume
Box 11: Portraits, bound volume
Box 12: Bourdaloue, bound volume
Box 13: James Holman, bound volume
Box 14: Misc. Pictures, Vol. II, bound volume
Box 15: William Hickling Prescott, bound volume
Box 16: Valentin Haüy, bound volume
Box 17: Leonard Euler, bound volume
Box 18: Blind Characters from the Bible, bound volume
Box 19: Homer, bound volume
Box 20: Ossian, bound volume
Box 21: Blind Players on Musical Instruments, bound volume
Box 22: Oedipus, bound volume
Box 23: Misc. Pictures, Vol. I, bound volume
Box 24: Christ Healing the Blind, bound volume
Box 25: George III, King of England, bound volume
Box 26: Belisarius, bound volume
Box 27: Samson, bound volume
Box 28: The Blind Fiddler, Wilkie, bound volume
Box 29: Elymas the Sorcerer, bound volume
Box 30: Institutions for the Blind, bound volume
Box 31: Johan Zizka, bound volume
Box 32: Blind Boys in India, bound volume
Box 33: Misc. Pictures, Vol. III, bound volume
Box 34: The Blind Girl, Millais, bound volume
Box 35: labeled “King Bela, Einar Nielson artist? Cliff Ostrom’s bio pictures”, box with 28 items
Box 36: Misc., 14 items
Box 37: Misc., 24 items
Box 38: Misc., 35 items
Box 39: Misc., 88 items
Box 40: Misc., 18 sleeved items in makeshift enclosure with brown paper
Box 41: one framed piece
Box 42: Oversized poster/prints in make-shift enclosure of brown paper, cardboard and foam core.
Box 43: Smallest items, 8 folders