X Close

UCL Ear Institute & Action on Hearing Loss Libraries

Home

Information on the UCL Ear Institute & Action on Hearing Loss Libraries

Menu

Archive for the 'Artists' Category

Heraldic Artist, Robert Ockleston (1845-1937) and his wife, Sarah Ann Brentnall (1849-1922) ‘she was related to the authoress “George Elliott”‘

Hugh Dominic WStiles23 June 2017

Ockleston robertRobert Ockleston (1846-1938) was born in Tabley Brook, Cheshire, in 1846.  His family could, we are told in his obituary (from which much of what follows is taken),  be traced back to the reign of John.  He had an uncle of the same name who was a successful doctor in Cheadle, giving out little white pills, which he even took himself when he had a nasty fall from his horse.  Robert was one of fourteen children, which seems a large family even for that age.  He lost his hearing after an attack of ‘brain fever’ when he was four years old, circa 1850.  He was admitted to the Manchester School for the Deaf and Dumb at Old Trafford, on August the 1st, 1853, as a paying pupil.  He left aged 16, in 1862 – as we see here below, he was one of the oldest pupils by that time.Manchester pupils 1862

He moved to London and became an apprentice heraldic artist in London, eventually setting up at Hatton Gardens with a Mr. Rogers.  Rogers predeceased him, and he carried on the business until he retired at 65, and he continued to work at home drawing up pedigrees and documents until his eyesight failed him aged seventy-eight.

He was Regular at St. Saviour’s church.  He had previously attended the services that were held by the Rev. Samuel Smith at the Regent Street Polytechnic.  At St. Saviour’s he met Sarah Ann Brentnall (1849-1922), a Deaf teacher of the deaf at a Stainer L.C.C. school, at Winchester Street, Pentonville, according to the Ephphtha articles (Ephphatha 1923, and Ephphatha 1938).  They were married by Sam Smith at St. Matthew’s, Oakley Square, on the 29th of July, 1776.  In 1882 they moved to Hornsey, then in 1905 went to Stroud Green.

Ockleston SarahSarah was born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, on the 25th of March, 1849, and as the 1881 census says she was ‘deaf only’ as opposed to Robert being ‘deaf and dumb,’ we might suppose that she lost her hearing after she had acquired spoken language.  Indeed, this is confirmed by her obituary which tells us that she lost her hearing aged six after scarlet fever (Ephphatha, 1923 p. 701).  The 1871 census does not mention deafness after her name, but the 1881 does.  Her obituary tells us about her education;

She was not sent to school, but was taught at home, and the love of reading was particularly cultivated, reading aloud being especially encouraged so that she might not forget how to speak.
Her parents and sisters communicated with her by means of the finger alphabet, but she did not associate with other deaf people till she was about 17.  She was then living in Liverpool and heard for the first time of the Mission for the Deaf there.  This opened up to her a new world of friends. (ibid)

Sarah moved to London, becoming a teacher, and began attending St. Saviour’s.  It seems she also wrote poems that were published in A Magazine for the Deaf  the Sam Smith St. Saviour’s church publication (ibid).  As with other teachers of the deaf who were themselves deaf, Sarah lost her job in 1881 when the school became ‘Oral’ in its main form of education (Ephphatha 1923, p. 702).  ‘At language, whether spoken or written, she was extremely gifted, partly due, perhaps, to the fact that she was related to the authoress “George Elliott”‘ (ibid).  It would be interesting to know what her actual relationship with George Elliott was.

Sarah remained involved in the various mothers’ meetings as well as being Vice-President of the Ladies section of the National Deaf Club (ibid).

Robert worked closely with the church, becoming a ‘lay reader’ in 1911 after he had retired.  He was a churchwarden at the church of St. John of Beverley in North London until 1937, when he stood down at the advanced age of 91.  He died  in December 1937 and was buried in Highgate Cemetery.

UPDATED 26/6/2017: Thanks, as ever, to Norma McGilp of @DeafHeritageUK for the additional references to Sarah Ann, and for telling me where to find pictures of them.

If you are aware of any of his work surviving somewhere, please comment.

The Passing of Mr. Robert Ockleston, Ephphatha, No.116, p. 1991, Jan-Mar 1938

Sarah Ann Ockleston (née Brentnall), Ephphatha, No. 56, p. 701, Winter, 1923

Picture of Robert in Ephphatha, Christmas 1915, p. 411

1911 Census – Class: RG14; Piece: 7210; Schedule Number: 230

1881 Census – Class: RG11; Piece: 275; Folio: 67; Page: 11; GSU roll: 1341059

 

“He did possess that indefinable quality which for want of a better word we term genius” – Leslie Edwards O.B.E., Deaf Missioner and Teacher

Hugh Dominic WStiles2 December 2016

Leslie Edwards was born in Wanstead, Essex, on the 27th of December, 1885, fourth of a remarkable thirteen children.  His father, Samuel, from Hackney, was a stock jobber and later a stockbroker’s clerk, while his mother Harriet, was born in Bethnal Green.  Leslie lost his hearing through meningitis when he was seven years old, according to both the 1911 and 1901 censuses, though the Teacher of the Deaf (ToD) says nine.  He was fortunate that his family learnt to finger-spell which helped his education he said (ToD, p.194).  “It was this personal experience which led him throughout his life to advocate the use of finger-spelling, not to supplant oralism, but to provide those accurate patterns of words and sentences so essential to the acquirement of fluency in the use of language” (ibid, p.194-5).  He was educated at the Manchester Institution, according to W.R. Roe in Peeps into the deaf world, and London according to the Teacher of the Deaf obituary (by W.C. Roe I believe).  Perhaps both are true, though London does seem more likely.

In 1900 he went to art school to train as an advertising artist (ToD p.195).  On leaving art school in 1903, he worked as a lithographer, according to the 1911 census, yet another of the large number of Deaf people who learnt that trade.  He became a lay reader at the Royal Association for the Deaf and Dumb mission in West Ham.

In 1912 Edwards became an assistant teacher at the East Anglian School for the Deaf in Gorleston, Suffolk.  While there he met Marion Thorp, a Yorkshire born teacher of the deaf who had previously trained under William Nelson in Stretford, at the Manchester Institution (Deaf School).  Her father Robert was a Church of England clergyman.  They were married in 1916, and had two children, a son and daughter (ToD p.195).

Edwards speechWe have a 17 page typescript speech on welfare work that he gave in June 1950 to the Torquay Conference for Teachers of the Deaf, when his obituary says he ‘possessed the art of “putting it across,”‘ in his ‘harsh’ but ‘perfectly intelligible’ speech (ToD p.195).  For those interested in the development of oralism v. manualism it is worth reading at greater length.

The Sign Language is essential.  The word language is not necessarily confined to words, my dictionary gives several definitions one of which is “any manner of expression.”  In so far then as signing conveys ideas, gives information and increases knowledge, it is not incorrect to speak of Sign Language.
No responsible person wants to sign if it can be avoided.
[….]
If signing is to be disregarded and as far as possible suppressed as has been the case for so many years what satisfactory alternative is proposed.  Is it not time to face up to the fact that efforts to suppress this natural instinct have not been successful and are bound to fail. (Edwards 1950, p.5)

He develops this line of thinking, further on saying,

Many of you learnt French at school and I think it is reasonable to suggest you acquired about as much understanding of that foreign language as the born deaf do of their Mother Tongue.  How many of you enjoy sitting down to read a French novel? (Edwards, 1950, p.6)

Leslie EdwardsFrom 1915 until his death, he was the missioner at Leicester Mission.  Related to that was his work as a founder of the Joint Examination Board for Missioners to the Deaf in 1929, which gave a diploma to missioners and welfare workers.

He was the honorary secretary-treasurer for the British Deaf and Dumb Association from 1935 to his death, and received the O.B.E. for his work with the deaf, in 1949 (ToD p.195).

Academic qualifications, to quote his own words, he had none.  He needed none.  He did possess that indefinable quality which for want of a better word we term genius.  Nature ordained that he should be an artist and in deference to her command he sought, for a time, to utilize the gifts she had bestowed on him.  But in early manhood he found his true vocation and from then throughout his life the over-ruling factor was his unwavering determination to serve his fellow deaf. (McDougal)

He died on the 3rd of October, 1951.

Ayliffe, E., Obituary. Deaf News, 1951, 188, insert.

Census 1891 – Class: RG12; Piece: 1352; Folio: 68; Page: 38; GSU roll: 6096462

Census 1901 – Class: RG13; Piece: 1621; Folio: 90; Page: 13

Census 1911 Edwards – Class: RG14; Piece: 9703; Schedule Number: 69

Census 1911 Thorp – Class: RG14; Piece: 23656; Page: 1

EDWARDS, L, Adult Deaf Welfare Work. 1950, p.2.

McDOUGAL, K.P. Leslie Edwards: an appreciation. Silent World, 1951, 6, 174.

Memorial to the late Leslie Edwards: Loughborough Church for the Deaf beautified. British Deaf News, 1955, 1, 10-12.

Opening programme, 18 July 1961. Leicester and County Mission for the Deaf, 1961. pp. 11-12.

ROE, W,R, Peeps into the deaf world, Bemrose, 1917, p. 388.

SMITH, A. Leslie Edwards, OBE: his early days. Books and Topics, 1951, 17, 6-7.

The late Leslie Edwards, OBE. Teacher of the Deaf, 1951, 49, 194-95.

 

“Why do you sing so loud, aunty,” – Annie Webb-Peploe’s story, Deaf and Dumb

Hugh Dominic WStiles14 October 2016

Arthur“Why do you sing so loud, aunty,” said Jessie; “I like to hear you sing softly.”

“I want baby to listen to me,” replied her aunt hastily, and she continued her song even louder than before.

“Stupid little Arthur,” said Jessie.

“Poor little Arthur,” said Aunt Amy, with a heavy sigh.

(Deaf and Dumb)

Annie Molyneux, a prolific, if more or less forgotten Victorian author, was born on the 24th of February 1806 (not 1805 as so many bibliographical details say), daughter to John Molyneux (one of a remarkable fifteen children), and a descendant of Thomas Molyneux, who was born in Calais when it was still English.  Thomas settled in Ireland and the family entered politics, with some of his descendants and Annie’s ancestors becoming Irish MPs.  Annie married John Birch Webb, who became the vicar of Weobley in Herefordshire.  In 1866 he took the surname Peploe, so they became the Webb-Peploe’s.  Annie Webb-Peploe, or Webb in the earlier part of her life, is as I say, hardly known now, but if she is read or remembered, it is probably for the book Naomi: or, The last days of Jerusalem (1841), which is a particular genre of ‘conversion’ literature that Annie wrote a number of books on.  The main character is a Jewish woman who becomes a Christian.  It went through a considerable number of editions, including in the U.S.A., and was also translated to Danish in 1892, and German in 1900.  I did not spot any English edition quite that late, but Valman says that it continued to be published to the end of the century.  It might be interesting to draw parallels between her attitude to “the devoted and impenitent Jews” (Naomi, preface, p. v) and the Deaf people in her short story, Deaf and Dumb (uncertain date).  There is an interesting chapter in Valman’s 2009 book (see reference below), that discusses Naomi. Arthur at school

Deaf and Dumb* tells the story of a deaf boy called Arthur, and his sister Jessie who are orphaned as young children.  They live with their aunt who then sends the boy to be educated at the Exeter School.  The boy is at first educated ‘by signs’, then “when he became an intimate of the asylum it was considered time to cultivate his power of speech, which, strange as it may seem to some of our readers, is actually as perfect with those who are called deaf and dumb as with those who have spoken from infancy” (Chapter 2, page 3 – though the pages of the whole book are unnumbered).  She seems to have taken some trouble with the details of education at Exeter, but I am unclear as to what she means about ‘the art of speaking on the fingers – or dactylology’ (Chapter 2 p.6) – is she referring to sign language or fingerspelling?  The stress seems to be on becoming oral, learning to speak –

The author has heard a deaf and dumb lady read a newspaper quite intelligibly, and also converse with a mutual friend who was also deaf and dumb, and with whom she had been brought up at Braidwood’s establishment.  The tone of their voices was guttural and rather monotonous, but by no means difficult to understand.

Yes it is ‘preachy’ and in my view not terribly well written, but it is interesting.  I suspect the book dates from circa 1860-65 based on her name as it appears – Mrs Webb, and on the few details on her two fellow writers in the collection.  Our copy must I think be very rare indeed.

It is difficult to find out anything much about Annie Webb-Peploe, even though she wrote and published quite a lot over a long period.  She does not as yet appear in the ‘Orlando – Women’s Writing’ pages, unlike two of her three fellow writers who are published in the same volume, Frances Browne and Frances Mary Peard (the third being L.A. Hall).  Her three sons went into the army (Daniel), the navy (Augustus), and the church (Hanmer).  Hanmer was a member of the evangelical ‘Holiness Movement‘, and has an entry in the DNB (see below).  You can see more of her family details here.  She died in 1880.  It seems that she is ripe for some research by someone interested in Victorian literature.  I am sure there are Webb-Peploes around today who might have some family records that would add to the bare details, and a photograph perhaps.

I have saved the whole story as a pdf for those interested.  When opened, right click the file to put it the right way up.  Deaf and Dumb by Mrs Webb

Arthur and Jessie 1http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n84051745.html

The Jewess in Nineteenth-Century British Literary Culture de Waard, Marco. Gender Forum 21 (2008) (Review)

Valman, Nadia, The Jewess in Nineteenth-Century British Literary Culture, CUP 2009

Online Books by Mrs. Webb-Peploe

https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Search/Home?lookfor=%22Webb-Peploe,%20Mrs.%201805-1880.%22&type=author&inst=

My Life on the Prairies

I. T. Foster, ‘Peploe, Hanmer William Webb- (1837–1923)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/47130, accessed 3 Oct 2016] – see also here.

 

 

Deaf Polish Jewish Artist, Maurycy Minkowski (1881-1930)

Hugh Dominic WStiles24 June 2016

Maurycy Minkowski (1881-1930), sometime known as Maurice Minkowski or Minkovski, was a Polish Jewish artist, born in Warsaw. He seems to be an early 20th century artist who has been largely forgotten.

When one of his works, “After the Pogrom” appeared in a 2002 exhibition in The Jewish Museum (New York), it was bracketed with several other paintings by the critic as putting “a specifically Jewish spin on the worst excesses of 19th-century sentimentality” (Prose, 2002).  That seems a little harsh, but Richard Cohen says he was one of the Jewish artists who “remained deeply anchored to the cataclysmic events of the day”, namely the terrible pogroms that broke out in Eastern Europe and European Russia at the turn of the century (Jewish Icons, 1998).  If you search for his paintings on line you will get a flavour of the types of image – women, children, old men, the victims of dislocation and hatred.

It is hard to find solid details about his life, at least in English. His family were it seems middle class, and according to Cohen were “acculturated” (1998, p.245).  He had an accident when he was 3, falling off a table (see comment by Ruth below) which entailed hospitalisation and left him deaf. Aged 12 he was talented enough to be asked to paint a portrait of the Governor of Warsaw (Jewish Chronicle obituary).  From 1900 to 1904 he trained at the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied under Jozef Mehoffer, Jan Stanisławski, and Leon Wyczółkowski (ibid and his Polish Wikipedia entry). Cohen tells us that they awarded him with a gold medal at his graduation (ibid p.245). He is called ‘deaf and dumb’ which suggests that he had no spoken language, but as I have found no proper interviews and only one contemporary account of him, it is impossible to say whether he signed in Polish sign language or had to use lip-reading or other forms of communication. His Polish Wikipedia entry says that he attended the Institute for the Deaf, as well as having private tuition in drawing, but it cites no sources for that. He had a brother, Feliks, and at some point married Rachel Marshak (Baker, p.108). His obituary in the Jewish Chronicle, despite calling him ‘well-known’, runs to a mere 16 lines.

The pivotal period of his life that influenced his art seems to have been the events of the Polish Revolution in 1905.  There were attacks on Jews, and a pogrom at Bialystock where Cohen says (p.245) the “plight of the children left the artist shaken”.

He travelled around western Europe in the following years, and the Polish Wikipedia article says he settled in Paris in 1908, though he continued to travel. Another source says that it was in 1924 that he moved permanently to Paris, where he exhibited (Stevens, 1925).  Interviewed by Kelly Stevens, it seems that, as he knew no French they communicated with gesture and “signs”.  He left Paris for Argentina in August 1930, taking 200 of his works with him. One work, that seems to me to be very fine, a portrait of Mosheh Oved, is in the Ben Uri collection in London. When crossing a street near his house in Buenos Aires on Saturday the 22nd of November 1930, Minkowski was struck by a taxi that he failed to hear because of his deafness, and died almost instantly (Baker p.109). His funeral was attended by thousands of people. About ten years after his death, some of his art was sold to cover the debts of his heirs. Much was bought by a Jewish cultural association in Buenos Aires, the IWO (Baker, p.117). The collection narrowly escaped total destruction when there was a terrorist attack on the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building in 1994, that killed 84 people. You can read more about that in Zachary Baker’s article.

The short obituary cited above, quotes the Jewish Chronicle’s art critic from an earlier exhibition review:

In the work of Maurice Minkowski…. We see a splendid example of the East European Type of Jewish genius…. We find the penetrating grasp of character and the absorbed interest in human emotion which is to be expected in a Polish Jew: it is the high intensity with which these are developed which is remarkable.

Cohen says,

The reception of Minkowski’s work in the pre-World War I period remains enigmatic. Hardly any Jewish newspaper that popularized Jewish artists singled him out, and he is referred to only fleetingly until the appearance of the Hungarian Jewish journal Múlt és Jövő in 1911. This journal gave his work extensive coverage, publishing many of his paintings. After World War I, Minkowski staged several large exhibitions in the west, which were introduced by the French cultural figure, Anatole de Monzie (Cohen p.250-1).

The photograph of the artist, from our collection made by Selwyn Oxley, is the only image of him that I have seen, and is what set me off trying to find out a little about him.  It comes from The Silent Worker article.  His seems a fascinating story, and probably requires the research skills of an art lover who can read Polish, Hebrew, French, and Spanish.  Please add any interesting information you can contribute in the comment space below.

UPDATE 1/7/2016: I put the wrong birth date in the heading and first paragraph from an early version – it was 1881 NOT 1888 as one or two sources suggested. I have also expanded a few bits and added a couple of links and a quote from Cohen.

UPDATE 15/5/2019: I added the age at which he lost his hearing – thanks to Ruth for her comment, & this reference http://www.jpress.nli.org.il/Olive/APA/NLI_heb/SharedView.Article.aspx?href=DHY%2F1931%2F01%2F23&id=Ar00202&sk=6DF6C216

Baker, Zachary M.  Art Patronage and Philistinism in Argentina: Maurycy Minkowski in Buenos Aires, 1930. Shofar Vol. 19, No. 3, Special Issue: The Jewish Diaspora of Latin America (SPRING 2001), pp. 107-119

Cohen, Richard I., Jewish Icons: Art and Society in Modern Europe. University of California Press, 1998. p.245-51

Prose, Francine, The Gallery: Nostalgia and Daring in Jewish Art Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition, 2002

The Jewish Chronicle, November 28th 1930 p. 14

The Jewish Chronicle, December 5th 1930 p. 5

Stevens, Kelly, Minkowski, Polish Painter. The Silent Worker, Vol.38 (1), p.6-8

MUSEO MAURICE MINKOWSKI Calle Pasteur 633 , Buenos Aires , 1028 , Argentina

De’Via and Deaf Jewish Art

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19622/lot/27/

George Frankland, Deaf Journalist (1866-1936) “brilliant scholar, deep thinker and one of the finest writers of prose”

Hugh Dominic WStiles10 June 2016

George Frankland  was born to middle class parents in Liverpool on the 9th of September, 1866 (British Deaf Mute p.290, from which much of this is taken).  The article goes on,

It is not quite clear whether George’s deafness was congenital ; his mother considers it due to falls and shocks to head in infancy.  This, by the way, accounts for his poetic tendencies.  The deafness, however, was only partial.  Consequently, George was treated in most respects as a hearing child – to his sorrow often enough.  He was sent to the ordinary hearing schools, but owing to his infirmity, and the conventional methods of education, learned comparatively little. (ibid)

However he did learn to read at an early age, which led him to writing.

Life became more difficult when his father died in 1881.  George worked for a time for his older brother, as an office boy,  but found the work too little to kindle any interest.  He went to Liverpool School of Art, but “did not distinguish himself”, although he there came into contact with another deaf person for the first time, Mr. J.R. Brown, one of the masters.  John Rowland Brown (1850-1923) had trained under T.M. Lindsay c 1864-67, and later moved to Liverpool where he was an assistant master at the college for 30 years. “Returned to Ght [Graham’s Town] on retirement c. 1902 where he held a one-man exhibition in 1916.”  (p.129, Pictorial Africana by A Gordon-Brown, via Google Books)

In 1884 George came in contact with James Wilson Mackenzie (1865-95), a gifted young deaf artist, some of whose paintings are still to be seen in the Wirral.  He and his brother introduced George to the Liverpool Deaf community.

With money short and his father’s estate tied up in the court of Chancery for may years, and failing to make his way in the world of art, George pursued a literature, learning shorthand, playing the piano to some degree, was supposedly “a genius at the organ” (Fry, 1936), and becoming enthusiastic about chess.  He stayed with his brother, trying to follow his trade as a shoemaker, but again felt he was wasting his time with too little he could do.  When his sister moved to London to study the piano, George studied typewriting “at Miss Day’s, and, through Mr. J.R.K. Toms, whom he met there, came into contact with the London deaf.” (British Deaf Mute, p.291)

He bought a typewriter but did not have the speed for office work.  Poor George seems to have really struggled to find his niche, but he continued to write, and had a safety net of a small income from his father’s property when the estate was settled.  In London he attended St. Saviour’s church, and helped organise the Cricket Club.  Gilby says that in 1894, “It was during this year that our first real Cricket Club secured a ground at Neasden, and George Frankland became its first Secretary.  It ran for several years at Bishop’s Avenue, Finchley.  Many happy afternoons did we spend there while the ladies with my assistance got tea ready and made huge out of it which went towards the rent of the pitch.” (Memoir, p.132-3)

He became a full time reporter for British Deaf Mute and The Church Messenger/Ephphatha from 1893.  In his obituary, M.S. Fry recounts that Frankland was much the quietest of the small group of journalists who worked for Joseph Hepworth on the British Deaf Monthly and The British Deaf Times.  “A brilliant scholar, deep thinker and one of the finest writers of prose, and a most lovable man” (Fry, 1936).

FranklandBritish Deaf Mute, 1896, 5:290-1 (with picture)

Fry, Maxwell S., Obituary: the late Mr George Frankland, British Deaf Times, 1936 vol.33 p.104

Picture, British Deaf Monthly 1896 vol 6, p.36

Please note, I have followed the original article in the B.D.M. fairly closely.  Please chip in with any additional information.

Deaf Sculptor, Dorothy Stanton Wise, A.R.C.A. 1879-1918

Hugh Dominic WStiles1 April 2016

Stanton Wise SpringDorothy STANTON WISE,  (1879-1918) was a talented sculptor.  Born on the 20th of October, 1879,* one of four children, Dorothy was deaf from birth.  Her birth name was Dorothea rather than Dorothy.  Her father who ran a small boarding school with his wife, taught mathematics, her mother Elizabeth taught Dorothy to draw.  Elizabeth wrote an extensive article, “How a mother educated her own deaf child,” published in The Association Review in 1909.

We had no fears about her until she was two years old.  She cooed and laughed like any other baby, looked up when I entered the room, and was particularly lively and happy; but when she reached that age, and still only cooed and laughed, I was afraid she must be tongue-tied.  The doctor soon settled that point, and, after a few minutes’ careful watching, broke to me what the real trouble was.  He talked about my waiting a while, taking her to an aurist, and so on, and casually remarked, “I suppose you know now the deaf are taught to speak, and to understand by the movement of the lips.”  I did not know; we had no deaf friends, and the matter had never interested me; but suddenly, at that one sentence, the whole horror of the shock fell away, and a future of infinite possibilities opened out.  The doctor was kind and sympathizing; I stood by the window looking down the familiar street, but I saw all the old objects under a new light required for their interpretation to Dorothy, and her education began from the moment we skipped out of his doorway. (p.104)

Stanton Wise BingyWhen she was five she attended a kindergarten for two years (circa 1886), but then inexplicably says, “there was no school for the deaf within fifty miles of us” (p.104) – yet Margate school was only a few miles away.  At any rate, Elizabeth consulted the oralist teacher in Northampton, Mr. Arnold, who gave her some help in learning his methods of education.  When they moved to London, Dorothy had a short course of lessons in lipreading every spring at the Fitzroy Square School.  Straight after kindergarten Dorothy “went twice a week to a school of art for the usual course of freehand and model drawing” (p.106).  She decided to pursue art, wanting to study under Lantéri in the Royal College of Art.  To qualify, the whole family contributed to her art education, her father teaching her perspective, her mother helped with lessons in anatomical drawing that Dorothy developed further on her own, and her younger brother sat and worked with her on geometrical drawing (p.107).  After five years study under Lantéri she obtained the sculpture degree in 1906, the only girl in her year to do so.

The family ended up living in Hendon, and she remained with her parents, working on commissions.

She died on Christmas Day 1918**, possibly the victim of the influenza outbreak.  Regular readers may recall the words of  Yvonne Pitrois – “My heart was nearly broken when I heard of the passing away of Miss D.S. Wise!”

There is certainly sufficient material on Dorothy to make an interesting article, especially if the writer has an interest in art and can track down her original works.  Perhaps the Royal College of Art Archive has interesting records of her.

**[not 1919 as Lang says – see probate records and death index]
Stanton Wise*Dorothy Stanton Wise, Døves Blad, No.3, 1922, p.4-5

The Late Dorothy Stanton Wise, A.R.C.A., Ephphatha 1919 no.42 p.550-1

Lang, Harry C. & Meath-Lang, Bonnie, Deaf Persons in the Arts & Sciences, 1995, p.381-4

Pitrois, Yvonne, Dorothy Stanton Wise, The Silent Worker, 1916. 28 (7) p.121-2

Ray, Cuthbert Hamilton, A Clever Deaf Sculptor, BDT 1911, vol 8 no.90 p121-3Roe, W.R., Peeps into the Deaf World, p. 1917

Wilson, Miss Edith C., Note to “How I Became a Sculptor”, The Volta Review 1913, Vol.15, 406-7

Wise, Dorothy Stanton, How I became a Sculptor, The Volta Review 1913, Vol.15, 403-5

Wise, E. A., “How a mother educated her own deaf child,” in The Association Review, 1909, vol.11 p.103-8

http://dspace.wrlc.org/view/ImgViewer?url=http://dspace.wrlc.org/doc/manifest/2041/36909

The Deaf Mute Howls – Albert Ballin

Hugh Dominic WStiles19 February 2016

Ballin 2“It will soon be obvious to all rational minds that the deaf have been woefully miseducated, and their characters warped and stunted at their schools – terribly enough to justify the HOWL they emit.” (Ballin, 1930, p.12)

Albert Victor Ballin was born in New York in 1861, son of a German immigrant who worked as a lithographer.  He lost his hearing through scarlet fever aged three.  “Since then I have never heard voices, music or any sound – not even the firing of big guns.  […] If the vibrations hang in the air, there remains in the atmosphere the silence of King Tut’s tomb for me.” (p.27)  Being unaware of the manual alphabet, they used crude ‘home signs’.  Ballin was convinced that through their ignorance “a blunder worse than a crime”, it atrophied his capability of learning to read and write (p.28).   This anecdote he recalls deserves repeating in full.

When I was five or six, my brother, a hearing lad two years my senior, was accustomed to taking me with him to a baker’s shop, a block away.  After many trips to the shop I was trusted to go alone to buy and bring home a loaf of bread.  My mother wrote some words on a slip of paper, wrapped it over a nickel, andut both in my little fist. She admonished me in signs to be very careful to hold fast and not to lose the coin and to bring home a loaf.  I carried out the errand so satisfactorily that she patted me on the head and commissioned me to repeat a like errand a few days later.  This time she wrapped the written slip over five red pennies. I always had a sweet tooth for taffy, so I stopped on the way at my favorite candy store, filched one penny, and bought a wee handful of the confection.
Then I went into the bake-shop, chewing happily.  I handed the slip and the remaining four pennies to the baker.  He was aware of my deafuess, and he wasted no time to argue with me.  He quietly scribbled something on another slip of paper and wrapped it with the bread.  On my return home my mother asked me what I had done with the missing penny.  I confessed my sin, and I was rewarded with a pretty stiff spanking, plus threats of a more severe punishment.  I was profoundly astonished at her weird clairvoyance.  How did she find me out?  That set me to thinking deeply.  I began dimly to suspect some connection between the baker’s slip and my spanking.  On my next errand I tried an experiment: I filched a penny, bought the taffy and the bread, but this time I tore and threw away the baker’s nasty lime slip.  When I arrived home with the loaf, I watched, with a throbbing heart, to see what mama would do. She only smiled kindly and patted my head.  My ruse was a grand success-my guess was right.  Thereafter I stole a penny on every like errand.  How delicious was that taffy! (p.29-30)

The book begins,

Long  loud  and  cantankerous is the howl raised by the deaf mute.  It has to be if he wishes to be heard and listened to. He ought to keep it up incessantly until the wrongs inflicted on him will have been righted and done away with forever. (p. 17)

It is fascinating to read his description of his education.  He faced great difficulties, and he points out that the 20% of pupils who were ‘semi-mute’ were the ‘show-pupils’ (p.41).  He was angered by the failure to acknowledge the significance of sign language, and the prejudices of pure oralists (p.51).  He deserves to be better known, if only for his book which was ahead of its time.

Ballin studioBallin trained as an artist under Mr. H. Humphry Moore and attempted to make a living at that (BDT p.1, 1907).  He went to Paris and Rome, studying under the Spanish painter Jose Villegas and in 1882 won a silver medal in Rome for a Venetian scene (ibid, p.1-2). He became friends with the Phillipino artist Juan Luna, sharing a studio with him (ibid).  Back in America again, he painted portraits of the Rev. Thomas Gallaudet and Dr. Isaac Peet.  He got involved in politics in support of the Democratic campaign in the 180s, which is how he met his wife (ibid p.3).  He began then to specialise in miniatures.Ballin Dreaming

He later attempted to make it in films, having moved to California, appearing as an extra in many films , but “easily recognized in Silk Stockings [Silk Legs (?)] (Fox, 1927),  The Man Who Laughs (Universal Artists, 1928)” etc. (Schuchman, p.27).   He was a lead in His Busy Hour, (Heustis, 1926), a film with an all-deaf cast.

He died in California on November 2nd, 1932, not long after his book was published.

Below we see him with the silent film star, Laura La Plante.  He was acquainted with a number of other ‘stars’, including Chaplin, Lon Chaney and Betty Compson, and he interviewed the oralist Alexander Graham Bell (Schuchman p.28).

Students whose colleges subscribe to Project Muse may be able to access the full text, which has also been reprinted by Gallaudet.  Our copy of the book is signed, “Compliments of Howard L. Terry” (1877-1964), a Gallaudet alumnus who was a writer and became a Deaf activist when he moved to California (Clark, p.90-1).
Ballin 1Ballin 3Ballin, Albert, The Deaf Mute Howls, Grafton Publishing Company, Los Angeles, (1930)

Clark, John Lee (ed), Deaf American Poetry : an anthology, Gallaudet University Press, Washington (2009)

Notable Deaf of Today: Albert Victor Ballin, Artist. British Deaf Times, Vol. 4 no. 37 January 1907, p.1-4

Schuchman, John S., Hollywood Speaks : deafness and the film entertainment industry, University of Illinois Press, Chicago (1988)

http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/H/HisBusyHour1926.html

https://usdeafhistory.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/ballinalbert-bio-1.pdf

Silent Era : Progressive Silent Film List

www.silentera.com

His Busy Hour (1926) American B&W : Two reels Directed by [?] Albert Ballin? Cast: Albert Ballin [the hermit] Produced by James Spearing and Bertha Lincoln Heustis.

Post updated 15/12/16 with BDT article & picture.

The Central London Ear Hospital in 1909

Hugh Dominic WStiles28 August 2015

This year the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital is celebrating 140 years in Gray’s Inn Road on this site.  The Central London Throat Nose and Ear Hospital first opened in 1874, in Manchester Street, now Argyle Street, Kings Cross.  It was an offshoot of Golden Square’s Hospital for Diseases of the Throat, which had been founded in 1862 by Sir Morell Mackenzie but had gone into a decline (Gould, 1998 p.10).  Some of the people behind the new hospital were the otolaryngologist Lennox Browne, his friend Captain Alfred Hutton, the physician Llewellyn Thomas who was also from Golden Square, and the dentist George Wallis.  Isaac Lennox Browne (1841-1902) was the son of the gynaecologist Isaac Baker Brown, who became unfortunately notorious.  His son had a far more distinguished career however.

After only a year the number of patients necessitated a move and the hospital laid a new foundation stone at its present site on Gray’s Inn Road.  The prominence of ‘throat’ in the title is indicative of Lennox Browne’s interest in the voice, and the foundation stone was laid by the famous opera singer Madame Patti and the building formally opened in 1876 (Yellon, p.38, as is the following). Even in those early days the hospital drew patients from across the country, a fact emphasized in the article from which these photographs came.  The article was by Evan Yellon, the fighter against quacks who often signed himself ‘Surdus’, and came into contact with Dr. Crippen.  Yellon tells us that in 1907, of 9,993 new patients admitted, no fewer than 1,860 from the country (ibid p.37).  The following year there were 10,481 out-patients and 707 in-patients.  I imagine that these figures come from annual reports.  We unfortunately have none of those, as they were all sent to the London Metropolitan Archives where they, and related materials, may be consulted.

In 1893 the hospital purchased additional land adjacent, and various parts if the building were rebuilt or enlarged.  a further expansion took place in 1906, when new wards were opened by Princess Louise.  Below is the out-patients department in 1909.NTNEH Outpatients

In 1909 the Chairman was still George Wallis, the Patron was the Duke of Connaught, and the Vice-President was Captain Hutton.  One of the surgeons at that time was James Dundas-Grant.  The service was free to those with no money, which perhaps explains the very high number of patients, however those with money were expected to contribute to the cost.  Yellon tells us that since the hospital was founded, it had treated 998,631 patients (ibid, p.40)! In 1909,

3,067 out-patients were sent by medical practitioners, and 392 in-patients.  The medical staff paid a total of 2,337 visits to the Hospital, involving 4,646 hours of their time.  681 operations were undertaken and performed in the out-patient department.  419 medical practitioners from all parts of the world visited the Hospital to witness the practice of the medical staff, while 41 ladies and gentlemen enrolled themselves as post-graduate students of the Hospital.  These figures should shew clearly the wide extent of the work being done.  The Hospital is entirely supported by voluntary contributions, and it (in common with other Ear Hospitals) has no grant from King Edward’s Hospital Fund; at the moment funds are very badly needed to enable the Committee to extend the work, and for the upkeep and necessary extension of the present buildings. (ibid, p.40)

Here we see the modern facilities as they were in 1909, complete with Edwardian nurses.NTNEH ward

NTNEH operating theatreNTNEH backView East from LibraryThe last view appears to be looking east.  Compare this shot taken from the library window – it is not easy to be sure as some buildings have of course gone and others have been built.  See the Lost Hospitals website for some of the older buildings  that were or are part of this hospital.  Click on images for larger size.

Gould, Glenice, A History of the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital 1874-1982, Journal of laryngology and Otology Supplement 22, April 1998

Yellon, Evan, Special Hospitals for the Deaf, The Central London Ear and Throat Hospital, The Albion Magazine, Vol.2 no.2 p.37-40, Aug-Sep 1909

 

 

“the doyen of deaf artists”, Charles Webb Moore 1848-1933

Hugh Dominic WStiles3 July 2015

Charles Webb Moore (1848-1933) was the son of a deaf lithographer, Isaac Moore.  His mother and all his siblings were deaf.  In fact, there were I understand, five generations of the Moore family who were Deaf.  Many of them were skilled artisans like Charles and his father.CW Moore

According to his obituary (Ephphatha, 1933) Charles was born on the 7th of April 1848, in Camden Town, and was educated at the Old Kent Road Asylum.  After training as a wood engraver, he worked for, among other periodicals, The Graphic, and the Illustrated London News, and won a silver medal at ‘the Deaf Mutes Exhibition held in London in 1885’ (I have been unable to discover more about that – if you know leave a comment below).  It seems that he painted portraits of many people associated with St. Saviour’s Church, including the Rev. Samuel Smith, Dr. Stainer, Dr. Elliott, Mr. Sleight, and Sir Arthur Fairbairn. We wonder whether these paintings survive, and if so, where they are now?

Charles married a Deaf lady, Emily Eliza Kemrik (sometimes written as Kamerick). They were married in St. May’s Paddington by the Rev. Mr. Churchill, and the service was interpreted in sign language by the Rev. Samuel Smith.Moore's marriage 001

In 1924, A.J. Wilson, himself a skilled engraver (I have come across at least one engraving by him of a Thomas Davidson picture), called Moore, “the doyen of deaf artists”.

Wilson explains how it was the technical advances in printing, which made the job of the woodcut artist “more precarious”.

“Curiosity” is reproduced by photo-process from a large woodcut which he both drew and engraved. “The Mermaid” is processed from one of Mr. Moore’s oil paintings. These two printing blocks illustrate the advance that has been made in the art of process engraving, because one – “Curiosity” – was reproduced from a line engraving on wood, and when we came to reproduce it by half-tone process the lines were broken up into dots. The other – “The Mermaid” – was photographed direct from the oil painting, yet the various colours of the original have been transformed into black and white by means of an “orthochromatic” plate so that the values are preserved.

curiosity 001The description under “Curiosity” says it was drawn for The Boy’s Own Paper.

Emily and Charles had four sons and one daughter. The middle son, William Webb Moore, was a recipient of the Belgian Order of Chevalier de la Couronne and the French Croix de Guerre, and sadly died in the Great War on the 12th of June 1918.

If we discover any more about Charles Moore and his family we will update this page!

Very acute readers of this blog will know that Moore has already had a picture featured on this site – he was the artist who depicted his friend Thomas Davidson.

There is a woodcut by Moore here.

The Mermaid 001Charles Webb Moore, Ephphatha 1933, p.

A Magazine Intended Chiefly for the Deaf and Dumb, 1878, No. 69, Vol. 6, p. 144

Deaf Artists, The Silent World, A Little Magazine Written by the Deaf for the Deaf, New Series, November 1924, No. 2 p.34-5

Thomas Davidson, Deaf Artist – “he became a kindly hearted, liberal thinker”

Hugh Dominic WStiles16 May 2014

Thomas Davidson, R.A. (1842-1919), was an artist of great skill.  He specialised in historical naval scenes, and also created memorable paintings illustrating the work of Emily Brontë .   He had a close association with St. Saviour’s Church in Oxford Street, London, including  being part of the Deaf and Dumb Debating Society, the R.A.D.D., and on the Committee of the Charitable and Provident Society for the Deaf and Dumb (Ephphatha).

Gilby says in his as yet unpublished memoirs, “The Men and women who were the backbone of the social club at St. Saviour’s, and who were very often seen there, were Thomas Davidson, the artist, Samuel Bright Lucas (son of Mrs.Margaret Lucas, foundress of the British Womens Temperance League), C W. Moore, the wood engraver, a friend of Brangwyn and other artists, W. Emerton the Emersons, W. H. Boughten, H. G. G. Ayshford, the wood engraver, and Hay Taylor.”

Davidson was born in London on 17th of January 1842, son of ‘Thomas Davidson Esq. of Hyde Park Corner’ (Deaf and Dumb Magazine).*  The family came originally from Kelso in Scotland (British Deaf Mute).  Losing his hearing aged four, young Thomas was sent as a private pupil to Thomas Watson, at the Old Kent Road Institution, then afterwards to a ‘hearing’ school in Clapham.  He is said to have thought oral education important.  He attended the School of Art at Marlborough House, (later home to the Prince of Wales) “under the two Whichelos” according to Gilby (Ephphatha).  He also studied under “Mr. Carey of Bloomsbury, Mr. Leigh of Newman Street, and Mr. Alex. Johnston of Fitzroy Square” before going to the Royal Academy for ten years (Deaf and Dumb Magazine).  The British Deaf Mute puts a Mr. Hatherly in there as well and I expect that it would be possible to research all these people to put Davidson’s development as an artist into context.  Thomas was also the winner of Royal Academy silver medals, and in 1868 he shared a studio in Paris with Claud Calthorp, “attending M. Bonnett’s atelier”.

Davidson Nelson 001

Davidson married in 1871 and had a large family with his wife Charlotte Douglas McHeath, who was also an exhibited artist.  In 1881 they were living at 82 Park Road, Hampstead.  His second son Douglas became a student at the Academy, while other children became an architect and a ‘news correspondent in Holland’.

Davidson died in Walberswick in Suffolk where he had retired, in November 1919.

“Looking towards the Altar, and on the right, a great picture by Thomas Davidson (himself deaf and dumb) called Ephphatha dominated the Church and decidedly was its principal adornment.  We give an illustration of this picture, though the reproduction by no means conveys a proper idea of the glorious golden sunset which fills the rear ground.” (Gilby, Memoirs)

st. saviour's interior

In Peeps Into the Deaf World, Roe quotes Davidson,

All the deaf should read a great deal, and that will give them more knowledge of the world, past and present. I am a great reader, and have read history, biography, books on travel, religion, and novels, besides the daily newspapers, and it is a great comfort – this reading – to one who is deaf, and to whom little is said.

In his obituary (Ephphatha), Gilby says that his “opinions and methods in art were conservative, but in many ways he was in advance of his time, and he became a kindly hearted, liberal thinker.”

The picture of Davidson here is by his friend C.W. Moore (Deaf and Dumb Magazine, 1879)

Davidson

British Deaf-Mute, 1895, 4(40), 66. (illus)

Deaf and Dumb Magazine, 1879, 7(82), 152-54. (illus)

Silent Worker, 1897

W.R. Roe, A distinguished deaf-mute artist, Peeps into the Deaf World, 1917, p.262-7 (illus)

F.W.G.G[ilby], Mr. Thomas Davidson, Ephphatha, 1920, no.45 p.576

* Thomas Davidson  This website lists his father as George, but as he is listed as Thomas Davidson Junior in the list of subscribers to St. Saviour’s (for 1861-2) on the same page and at the same address as another Thomas Davidson, it seems clear that that website is in error.  We are grateful to Dr. W. J. Lyons for this information.