A painting from the 16th century that has not yet been taken notice of is the starting point of an extraordinary project. Gazes at women and men with disabilities from the early modern times up until today - how can they be interpreted scientifically and artistically? How can women and men with disabilities contribute their knowledge to this today?
The Painting of a Disabled Man from the 16th century.
a participatory action research project
This page provides the following information:
A painting from the 16th century that had not yet been taken notice of is the starting point of this project. For more than 400 years, this Painting of a Disabled Man has been part of the famous Chamber of Art and Curiosities at Ambras Castle near Innsbruck in Austria.
In the course of the project, two other historical paintings were found that are significant for the analysis of the cultural presentation of disability: a leaflet from 1620 showing Wolfgang Gschaidter, a carpenter with a disability, and a small picture from 1578, showing Elizabeth, a woman with a learning disability.
The discussion and analysis of different gazes towards men and women with disabilities are at the center of attention: Gazes at women and men with disabilities from the early modern times up until today – how can they be interpreted scientifically and artistically? How can women and men with disabilities contribute their knowledge to this today?
Historical starting point
3 pictures of the 16th/17th century:
You can find more detailed information about the project, the method of PAR (participatory action research) and about the project's exhibition in a handout for a presentation at the San Francisco Bay Area Disability Studies Consortium on Feb. 23rd 2007:
"Independent Living Innsbruck/Austria", "Institute of Educational Sciences, University of Innsbruck" and "Collection Ambras Castle, Innsbruck, Museum of Art History, Vienna". Scientific program TRAFO.
The project group
Heinz Brandmayr, Mag.a Karin Flatz, Mag.a Petra Flieger, Dr. Thomas Kuster, Dr. Christian Mürner, Mag.a Ulrike Pfeifenberger, Mag.a Margot Rauch, Dr.in jur. Anna Reiter, Mag.a Christine Riegler, A.Univ.-Prof. Dr. Volker Schönwiese, DSA David Sporschill, Mag. Harald Stauber, Georg Urban, DSAin Erika Zwicklhuber
The Portrait of a Disabled Man.
Gazes at the history of people with disabilities
Running time: 45 minutes
Release date: 2008
Closed captioned: available in German and English
Visual description/ Audio description: available in German and English
Director/ producer: Bernd Thomas (arbeitsgemeinschaft behinderung und medien e.V., Munich, Germany) and Volker Schönwiese (University of Innsbruck)
Prof. Volker Schönwiese
Institute of Educational Sciences,
University of Innsbruck,
A-6020 Innsbruck/ AUSTRIA
Tel.: 0043- (0)512-507-4049
The film can be ordered at:
ABM - Arbeitsgemeinschaft Behinderung und Medien,
Bonner Platz 1,
D- 80803 München/ GERMANY
Telefon: +49 89 307992-0
Fax: +49 89 307992-22