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Quintus Pedius (died about 13) was a Roman painter and the first deaf person in recorded history known by name. He is the first recorded deaf painter and his education is the first recorded education of a deaf child. All that is known about him today is contained in a single passage of the Natural History by the Roman author Pliny the Elder.
Bernardino di Betto, known also as Pintoricchio, was born between 1456 and 1460 in Perugia to a modest family of artisans. His real name was Betti Biagi, but he was often called Sordicchio, from his deafness and insignificant appearance, but Pinturicchio was his usual name.
Juan Fernandez de Navarrete was born in the beautiful town of Navarre, Spain near the mountain range of the Pyrenees. He was called El Mudo (the mute) since childhood. He lost his hearing at the age of three and never learned to talk.
Juan's amazing drawings skills became evident when he began communicating his needs by drawing them out with charcoal on paper. The young artist never allowed his disabilities to hamper his dreams or ambitions and allowed his art to become his voice.
Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634) was one of the first Dutch landscape painters of the 17th century. He was deaf and mute and known as de Stomme van Kampen (“the mute of Kampen”).
He is especially noted for his winter landscapes of his homeland. His landscapes are characterized by high horizons, bright clear colors, and tree branches darkly drawn against the snow or the sky. His paintings are lively and descriptive, with evidence of solid drawing skills that made him an ideal recorder of his contemporary life.
1700 - 1800 To Top
In the winter of 1792-93, when Goya was 46, he developed a mysterious illness that nearly killed him. He survived but lost his hearing, and for the next 35 years was “deaf as a stump.”
And yet, only after the illness did he achieve full mastery of the face in his portraits. Only after his hearing was gone did his skill as a portraitist reach its zenith, possibly, it has been suggested, because deafness made him more aware of gesture, physical expression, and all the minute particulars of how faces and bodies reveal themselves.
Charles Shirreff was born in either 1749 or 1750. His last name has, at times, been spelled as Sherrif, Sherriff, or Shirref.
At the age of three or four, Shirreff became deaf and mute. In 1760, his father approached Thomas Braidwood, owner of a school of mathematics in Edinburgh, seeking an education for the boy, then ten years old, in the hope that he could be taught to write.
Charles became Braidwood's first deaf student; soon afterward, Braidwood founded Braidwood's Academy for the Deaf and Dumb, the first school of its kind in Britain."
Eelke Jelles Eelkema (8 July 1788 – 27 November 1839), a painter of landscapes, flowers, and fruit, was born at Leeuwarden (NL) as the son of a merchant. On account of his deafness, which was brought on by an illness at the age of seven, he was educated in the first Dutch institution for the deaf and dumb at Groningen (1799). The Flemish Gerardus de San, first director of the Academie Minerva, instructed Eelkema in the art of drawing.
Walter Geikie RSA (10 November 1795 – 1 August 1837) was a Scottish painter. At the age of two he suffered a "nervous fever" which left him deaf.
He sketched in India ink with great truth and humor the scenes and characters of Scottish lower-class life in his native city.
1800 - 1900 To Top
Mathias Stoltenberg (21 July 1799 – 2 November 1871) was a Norwegian painter. He earned his living mostly as a travelling portrait painter and furniture restorer. His paintings were later rediscovered and presented at the 1914 Jubilee Exhibition in Kristiania.
He lost his sense of hearing as a child, and died in poverty in Vang in 1871.
At the age of four, Paul Ritter became deaf due to illness. He became known in particular for his large-format architectural pictures of old Nuremberg with historical figure staffage against the background of the historically faithful architecture of the old town.
In 1904, Veditz became president of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). He had strong opinions about preserving sign language, so during his years as president he worked closely with Oscar Regensburg, the first chairman of NAD's Motion Picture Fund Committee to produce some of the earliest films that recorded sign language.
Consequently, these videos are some of the most significant documents in deaf history.
Fernand Joseph Job Hamar, born 15 July 1869 in Vendôme and died 10 March 1943 in Paris, was a French sculptor.
During the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, between the Battle of Orleans (1870) and the Battle of Le Mans, the Prussian army pushed the Army of the Loire around Le Temple. The noise of the cannons caused the deafness of Fernand Hamar, according to his family. Around his tenth birthday, he entered the Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris.
Slava Raškaj (2 January 1877 – 29 March 1906) was a Croatian painter, considered to be the greatest Croatian watercolorist of the late 19th and early 20th century.
Being deaf ever since her birth, due to the difficulties in communication, she gradually withdrew from people, but not before her talent was noticed.
Her works have been exhibited since 1898 in art pavilions of Zagreb, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. It was the best part of her short career when most valuable works were done, especially those painteid in this very Garden, by the ponds. A series of paintings of water lilies (‘Lopoci’) are considered as a sort of a hallmark of this great artist.
Bust of Slava Raškaj in Nazorova Street in Zagreb.
"The later sculptor and poet Gustinus Ambrosi, born on February 24, 1893, lost his hearing in 1900 as a result of meningitis."
"In 1913 the sculptor, who was considered brilliant at an early age, received a state studio for life in Vienna and from that year attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna."
Kazimierz Wiszniewski was an excellent graphic designer and artist who commemorated the beauty of Polish landscape and Polish architecture in his works.
The art of Kazimierz Wiszniewski is also a very important part of the history of the deaf community in Poland.
1900 - 2000 To Top
Johannes Tromp was born on December 13, 1872 in Jakarta (then Batavia). Tromp painted the daily lives of the fishing community, and especially pictures with children, showing them playing on the beach, shepherding goats or returning from the dunes. These scenes are all idyllic and resonate with a familial contentment that presumably reflected his own.
Emerson Romero was a Cuban-American silent film actor who worked under the screen name Tommy Albert. Romero developed the first technique to provide captions for sound films, making them accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing; his efforts inspired the invention of the captioning technique in use in films and movies today.
Alexander Pavlovich Lobanov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Па́влович Лоба́нов; 30 August 1924 – April, 2003) was a Russian outsider artist. Born in Mologa (Russia) in 1924, Lobanov contracted meningitis before five years old and was left deaf and mute.
For over fifty years he produced hundreds of works with very little variety in style or content.
Peter Hans Dimmel (born August 31, 1928 in Vienna) is an Austrian sculptor and functionary in various deaf interest groups. His life's work includes more than 170 works, including many sculptures and restoration work for churches, especially with the material bronze.
Dorothy "Dot" Miles (19 August 1931 – 30 January 1993) was a poet and activist in the deaf community. Throughout her life, she composed her poems in English, British Sign Language, and American Sign Language. Her work laid the foundations for modern sign language poetry in the US and UK.
She is regarded as the pioneer of BSL poetry and her work influenced many contemporary Deaf poets.
The German Deaf Theater (Deutsches Gehörlosen-Theater e.V., DGT for short) was founded over half a century ago with the aim that the deaf people can visit a theater in their language and that the deaf actors can come out of themselves and slip into other roles and still be themselves stay.
Deaf actors have long been discriminated outsiders. That shouldn't be anymore. On stage they are free spirits and rebels who maintain the culture of the deaf. It is simply fascinating to see how the deaf actors on stage implement their creative ideas with such passion, as if it were about life and death, about everything or nothing.
Alexander Martianov was born in 1960 in a village not far from the town of Vyatka in the Russian Federation.
Mr Martianov has described his work in this way: “I find my own forms in art that can express my thoughts and internal images. I believe deafness has influenced my art in the sense that my world vision is connected to my deafness, and I try to express this in my work. My style has changed very little in recent years. Whatever changes there have been reflect my inner experience and images.”
In 1976, the deaf American artist Alfredo Corrado went to France to work for the Nancy International Theater Festival. He meets Jean Grémion, French director already engaged in research on non-verbal theater.
Founded in 1977, IVT is currently directed by Emmanuelle Laborit since 2002, Jennifer Lesage-David since 2014.
Riksteatern’s Tyst Teater is a pioneer in the production of groundbreaking dramatic art in Swedish Sign Language. Ever since the start in 1970, thee have offered a unique selection of dramatic arts, seminars and meetings.
Tyst Teater’s vision is to create the very best dramatic art in Swedish Sign Language, with and by artists and cultural performers who are deaf and members of the sign-language community.
Theater Totti is the only sign language theater in Finland.It was founded in 1987.
Theater Totti produces his performances for many different age groups, from children to adults and older generations. The plays can also be interpreted into speech for non-sign language viewers.
Every year, Toti has one to two of the theater's own sign language productions in its repertoire.
2000 - now To Top
In December 2001, Theatre Manu was established. The theatre's strategy document states that the theatre will be the best theatre in the world with its roots in deaf culture and the environment.
Theater Manu is Norway's sign language theater. Teater Manu has developed into a state-funded institutional theater with eight employees, which has an office and stage at Grünerløkka in Oslo.
Theater Manu is a touring professional theater with high quality performing arts, a young cultural institution that is recognized both nationally and internationally.
The Signdance Collective is a touring performance company that was established in 2001. The company is culturally diverse with a team of experienced deaf and disabled artists at the helm.
The company is one of the first in the world to utilise and introduce the concept of inclusive practice with a specific focus on disability-deaf led team work.
In 2002 Paula Garfield founded Deafinitely Theatre alongside Steven Webb and Kate Furby having become frustrated with the barriers deaf actors and directors faced in mainstream media.
They are the first deaf launched and deaf-led theatre company in the UK that works bilingually in British Sign Language and spoken English, producing work that caters to audiences of all ages.
The first generalist theater school in sign language immersion, the ETU offers a two-year diploma course.
The theater school, exclusively in sign language, is generalist, demanding, diploma-based and based on pedagogy by project. This innovative research site is enriched by numerous partnerships and exchanges.