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March 22, 2006

Gallaudet lectures and exhibition feature works of famed 19th century deaf photographers

From: Gallaudet - USA - Mar 22, 2006

Gallaudet lectures and exhibition feature works of famed 19th century deaf photographers

The Allen Sisters were noted Pictorial photographers

(WASHINGTON) The photographic artistry of Frances and Mary Allen takes center stage April 5-6 as part of the I. King Jordan Lecture Series.

For the first program, Suzanne Flynt, author of “The Allen Sisters: Pictorial Photographers 1885-1920” and curator of the traveling exhibition of that name now on view at Gallaudet University, will present the story of their extraordinary lives through their exquisite photographs. The program takes place 11 a.m., April 5 at Swindells Auditorium, located in the Gallaudet University Kellogg Conference Center.

Working within the aesthetic of the Arts and Crafts movement, Frances and Mary Allen created exquisite photographs of New England country life, figure and child studies, and landscapes of New England, Great Britain, and California. Their photographs were included in important turn-of-the-last-century exhibitions such as “The Washington Salon and Art Photographic Exhibition, 1896”; “Third International Congress of Photography, Paris, 1900;” and the “Third Philadelphia Photographic Salon, 1900.”

Flynt has served as Massachusetts Field Researcher for the National Portrait Gallery. Since April 1982, she has been curator responsible for the museum collections at Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield, Mass. Most recently, she curated the permanent MMH installation “Poetry to the Earth: The Arts and Crafts Movement.” Her previous publications include “Hadley Chests,” with Phil Zea (1992), and “Family, Home and Place: Nineteenth Century Prints” (1990).

The second event, taking place at 1 p.m. on April 6 in Swindells Auditorium, will offer insight into how the sisters lived.

During her discussion, “Deaf Eyes: The Allen Sisters Pictorial Photography, 1885-1920,” Dr. Brenda Brueggemann will examine what life was like to be deaf, female and photographers at the turn of the last century.

Her focus will include developing a mini-autobiography of the sisters, dissecting their homelife in Deerfield, offering some background about women and photography in general during this particular period in American (and international) history, and examining specific photographs and placing them in four major (often overlapping) categories.

Dr. Brueggemann is an associate professor at the Ohio State University. She serves as coordinator of the American Sign Language Program and also of the Disability Studies Minor. She is author of “Lend Me Your Ear: Rhetorical Constructions of Deafness,” and essays and articles on pedagogy, qualitative research, literacy, rhetoric, deaf and disability studies.

Dr. Brueggemann is co-editor of and contributor to “Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities.” She is series editor for “Deaf Lives” (autobiography and biography) for Gallaudet University Press.

Dr. Brueggemann is recipient of OSU’s Kathryn Schoen Award (2000) for Women in Academic Leadership and the OSU Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award (2001) as well as an Ohio Humanities Council grant, OSU Seed Grant, and Coca-Cola Foundation for Research on Women grant. Dr. Brueggemann serves on Gallaudet University’s Board of Trustees and is chair of the Academic Affairs Committee.

Fifty of the Allen Sisters’ photographs will be on exhibit in the Linda K. Gallery at the Washburn Arts Center from March 22 to May 15.

Gallaudet established the I. King Jordan Lecture Series to honor President Jordan’s many years of distinguished service at the University. One of the hallmarks of Dr. Jordan’s presidency has been his commitment to academic excellence. In recognition of his leadership in achieving excellence, speakers who have made outstanding contributions in their fields are being invited to address the Gallaudet community throughout this year. Local, national, and international scholars and leaders—including those from Gallaudet--will be part of this series.

For more information about the Lecture Series and the speakers, go to