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Visual and Non-Visual Art Expression

January 09 – January 31, 1948

An exhibition arranged by Professor Victor Lowenfield, of Pennsylvania State College

The exhibit consists of drawings, paintings and photographs of sculptures of normal sighted, partially blind and blind individuals. Accompanying tablets attempt to give an analysis of the basic art experiences of these different types of art expression. As a whole there are one hundred items: one diagram of the exhibit which shows the way it should be hung; two large posters; eight explanatory tablets; and six printed labels. It contains forty paintings done by partially blind individuals who never could simultaneously see their own work of art. Yet these works show such a consistency and unity that we only can draw the conclusion that this unity is basically a mental picture and that physiological conditions play a subordinated role. The pictures show clearly the use of non-visual symbols and interpretation of sensations which can be seen in modern, expressive art, which also subordinates visual experiences to subjective ones. The exhibit further contains forty photographs of sculptures made by blind individuals. In this number of photographs, several developmental series of the different working stages of sculptures are shown, which give, I hope, a deep insight into the nature of non-visual art expression. For comparison twenty paintings of normal sighted children and youths were included, which also show both visual and non-visual approaches. Thus, the exhibit tries to give an understanding that not the physiological conditions, but the psychological attitude toward environment and the self, determines the type of art expression.

This text was taken from the original press release for the exhibition.


The Renaissance Society
is a contemporary art
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open to the public
Fri  Jun 14, 2024