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Divided Portraits: Identity and Disability

Overview

“She brings a keen painter’s eye to bear. . . . The result is often striking: how the subject exists as well as looks.”—James Salter

“Whether focused on a landscape or the human features, the result is an enchantment.”—George Plimpton

Beautiful and inspiring portraits create a new image and identity for disability, showing grace, beauty, strength, and resolve. In portraiture, as in most human interactions, the head—indeed the eyes—are the first thing noticed. But confronted by a person in a wheelchair, the ...

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Overview

“She brings a keen painter’s eye to bear. . . . The result is often striking: how the subject exists as well as looks.”—James Salter

“Whether focused on a landscape or the human features, the result is an enchantment.”—George Plimpton

Beautiful and inspiring portraits create a new image and identity for disability, showing grace, beauty, strength, and resolve. In portraiture, as in most human interactions, the head—indeed the eyes—are the first thing noticed. But confronted by a person in a wheelchair, the viewer’s focus shifts to the chair. This work challenges any assumption of difference, illuminating Christopher Reeve’s protest after his accident—“I am still me!”—and emphasizing that able-bodied or disabled, humanity is innate to us all. The book accompanies a traveling exhibition of the paintings, drawings, and sculptures.

A New York-based fine artist specializing in portraiture and landscape, Hilary Cooper has been featured in numerous exhibitions and collections, as well as editorials in The New Yorker and Art News. Among her commissioned works are portraits for Erica Jong, Ed Koch, Kimberly Rockefeller, and Patricia Hearst Shaw.

Jean Kennedy Smith, founder of VSA arts, was the US ambassador to Ireland from 1993 to 1998, and has received numerous awards for her many contributions to the issue of disabilities.

Roxana Robinson is a noted writer, the author of the acclaimed biography of Georgia O’Keefe and five other books, including four New York Times Notable Books of the Year.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781884167645
  • Publisher: Umbrage Editions
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 12.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Hilary Cooper is a New York-based artist specializing in portraiture and landscape. She has been in numerous shows, including 1992's Paris Review and the 2004 HERE Arts Center. She has also been featured in numerous collections, editorials, and commissioned works, including commissions for Erica Jong, Kimberly Rockefeller, and Patricia Hearst Shaw, and editorials in the New Yorker. Jean Kennedy Smith, founder of VSA arts, was the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, 1993¬-1998. She has received awards for her contributions to the issue of disabilities, including the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service from the American Institutes for Public Service and the Margaret Mead Humanitarian Award from the Council of Cerebral Palsy Auxiliaries. She has four children. VSA ARTS (VERY SPECIAL ARTS) is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1974 to create a society where all people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts. It provides educators, parents, and artists with the resources and tools to support arts programming in schools and communities, and promotes increased access to the arts for people with disabilities. Roxana Robinson has written numerous books, including a biography of Georgia O'Keefe and four were named Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times. Her writing has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and Vogue. She received the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation fellowships, and is a trustee emeritus of American PEN and the National Humanities Center.

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