218 Pages 65 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    218 Pages 65 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This is the first book of its kind to feature interdisciplinary art history and disability studies scholarship. Art historians have traditionally written about images of figures with impairments and artworks by disabled artists, without integrating disability studies scholarship, while many disability studies scholars discuss works of art, but do not necessarily incorporate art historical research and methodology. The chapters in this volume emphasize a shift away from the medical model of disability that is often scrutinized in art history by considering the social model and representations of disabled figures from a range of styles and periods, mostly from the twentieth century. Topics addressed include visible versus invisible impairments; scientific, anthropological, and vernacular images of disability; and the theories and implications of looking/staring versus gazing. They also explore ways in which art responds to, envisions, and at times stereotypes and pathologizes disability. The insights offered in this book contextualize understanding of disability historically, as well as in terms of medicine, literature, and visual culture.

    List of Figures

    Notes on Contributors


    Chapter 1: Artists and Muses: Peter’s World and Other Photographs by Susan Harbage Page (Ann Millett-Gallant)

    Chapter 2: Exploiting, Degrading, and Repellent: Against a Biased Interpretation of Contemporary Art about Disability (Nina Heindl)

    Chapter 3: Nothing is Missing: Spiritual Elevation of a Visually Impaired Moche Shaman (Rebecca Stone)

    Chapter 4: Divining Disability: Criticism as Diagnosis in Mesoamerican Art History (William Gassaway)

    Chapter 5: Difference and Disability in the Photography of Margaret-Bourke-White (Keri Watson)

    Chapter 6: Representing Disability in Post-World War II Photography (Timothy Hiles)

    Chapter 7: The Disabled Veteran of World War I in the Mirror of Contemporary Art: the Reception of Otto Dix's Painting The Cripples (1920) in Yael Bartana’s Film Degenerate Art Lives (2010) (Anne Marno)

    Chapter 8: Disabling Surrealism: Reconstituting Surrealist Tropes in Contemporary Art (Amanda Cachia)

    Chapter 9: The Dandy Victorian: Yinka Shonibare’s Allegory of Disability and Passing (Elizabeth Howie)

    Chapter 10: Crafting Disabled Sexuality: The Visual Language of Nomy Lamm’s Wall of Fire (Shayda Kafai)


    'Disability and Art History makes a definitive claim for the importance of disability in art. Moving seamlessly from the past to the present, and indicating an influential through line between the two, the collection of essays shows not only how important disability is to art works, but how disability becomes a fascinating focus for artists of all kinds. The book particularly illustrates how transgressive disability art can be and how different bodies and minds redefine what we think about when we think about visual art.' - Lennard. J. Davis, University of Illinois, USA

     'This original book offers fresh insights as it examines art history's blindness to the burgeoning scholarship in disability studies. Rather than mock the discipline's impairments or seek a cure, the diverse essays think deeply about their social and cultural significance across an intriguing range of historical periods and places.' - Jane Blocker, University of Minnesota, USA

    'Millett-Gallant & Howie’s Disability and Art History provides scholarly examples of how representations of disability reoccur and are recycled in visual culture.  From photography to cinema, from Meso-American pottery figures to German Expressionism, from the disabled as artist to the artistic rediscovery of older representations of the disabled, this first-rate collection provides much for the Disability Studies classroom and will add substantially to a rethinking of Art History to introduce the student to the world of visual representations of disability.' - Sander L. Gilman, Emory University, USA

    What I sense in this text is the creation of a new language of analysis, a fresh critical discipline that marries the techniques of art history with the rigors of disability studies. Each chapter includes vivid and thorough verbal depictions of the works considered: a practice both in art criticism and accessible media. The result is an invitation to the reader to enter these works from multiple platforms and thus encounter the incandescent power of portrayal, equipped with theoretical agency. Disability Studies Quarterly 40:1 2020.