bookcover

“Mouth and Toes: The World of 19th-Century Silhouette Artists with Disabilities"

with Laurel Daen and Marianne R. Petit

Thursday, August 19, 2021, at 7:00 PM ET

Approx. 60 minutes

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This online event is free, but registration is required. You will be sent an email with a link and instructions on how to join the event upon registration.

This program will examine the lives and works of three artists—Martha Ann Honeywell, Sarah Rogers, and Saunders Kew Grems Nellis—who worked at the intersection of visual art, performance, and disability in the early to mid-nineteenth century. Born with significant physical disabilities, these artists traveled throughout North and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe creating and selling silhouettes and performing their unexpected capacities and incapacities for customers. Historian Laurel Daen and artist Marianne R. Petit recount Honeywell, Rogers, and Nellis’s remarkable stories in a new creative project titled “Mouth and Toes: The World of 19th-Century Silhouette Artists with Disabilities.” Featuring a “crankie” or moving panorama, printed scrolls, hand-held flip books, and an e-book, Daen and Petit center these artists in the fascinating world of art, performance, travel, and disability in which they lived. This program will include selections from “Mouth and Toes” and artwork by Honeywell, Rogers, and Nellis in the American Antiquarian Society collection.

Headshot of Lauren DaenLaurel Daen is an assistant professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research and teaching focus on disability, sickness, medicine, and health in America, primarily during the 18th and 19th centuries. She is currently completing her first book, which examines disability and civil rights around the time of the American Revolution. Daen’s work has also appeared in the Journal of Social History, Early American Literature, History Compass, and the Journal of the Early Republic. Her article in the latter publication focused on Martha Ann Honeywell, one of the subjects of Mouth and Toes, and won the Outstanding Article Award from the Disability History Association in 2018.

Marianne PetitMarianne R. Petit is an artist and educator whose work explores fairy tales, anatomical obsessions, graphic and narrative medicine, as well as collective storytelling practices through mechanical books that combine animation and papercraft. Petit’s artwork has appeared internationally in festivals and exhibitions, been featured in publications such as Hyperallergic, Make, and Wired, and broadcast on IFC and PBS. Her movable books can be found in numerous museum and library collections. She is an associate arts professor at New York University’s IMA/ITP programs located in the Tisch School of the Arts. Additionally, Petit serves as an associate vice chancellor for Global Network Academic Planning for the University and received the University Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016. Petit worked on Mouth and Toes as a Jay and Deborah Last Creative Artist Fellow at AAS in 2020.

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