Saturday, June 9, 2012

Deaf and Zombies

We, Deaf America seems reading more and more about so-called zombie attacks upon Americans. The mainstream media coined "zombie attacks" in form of cannabilistic-like behavior within the latest newsreportings from the infamous Miami facial chew-up to the recent confession by the college student with top G.P.A, ate the brain of his own victim.

The prominent Gallaudet alumni, Cadwallader Washburn once dealt with cannibals somewhere on the remote island while he traveled overseas. He regularly etched stuff during his globe-trotting travels. Washburn ended up on the unknown island and got the royal treatment from native islanders. At first, Washburn was not realized that he was being fattened up by the cannibals. He taught the cannibals handful of sign language, too.

Washburn finally remembered that he read books about some cannibals living somewhere on the island. He had to sneak off at night and escaped from the island. Washburn wrote in his journal about such adventure. Washburn also purposely starved himself from being eaten by cannibals until he found the right moment to escape from the island with cannibals.

Here are the finest artworks of Cadwallader Washburn which currently displayed at the Washburn Arts Center on Gallaudet University campus -

Great biographical stuff on Washburn by the Minnesota Association of the Deaf newsletter -

Cadwallader Lincoln Washburn– Painter, United States

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and died in South Livermore, California (October 31, 1866 – December 21, 1965). Washburn became deaf at age 5 in 1871 from scarlet fever and spinal meningitis. His father, William Drew Washburn, was a U.S. Senator, and his family was wealthy with interests in timber, railways and mills(including the Gold Medal flour mills). He attended theMinnesota State Academy for the Deaf and then enteredGallaudet College in 1884. He also enjoyed studying insects, and in drawing illustrations he discovered an interest in art. After graduation he studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology but then moved to New York to study art. One of his teachers,William Chase, brought him to Europe to study with the artist Joaquin Sorolla in Spain. He met Pablo Picasso in Paris. In Venice he experimented with and eventually became a master of drypoint etching, producing almost 1,000 etchings during his career. He also had exciting adventures. While in Mexico for his health, he was asked by the Chicago Daily News to interview Francisco Madero, the Mexican president, and was the only reporter to get in to interview him (using written Spanish) before he was assassinated.

During the 1920s, he traveled with a professor from the University of Minnesota to the Marquesas Islands where he studied and drew sketches of birds and rare insects and successfully avoided being eaten by cannibals (he purposely stayed too thin for their taste). Just before he turned 77 in 1943, Washburn married Margaret Cowles Ohrt, who became his travel companion and interpreter.He received numerous honors for his works of art and his studies of insects, and Gallaudet University’s Washburn Arts Building was dedicated in his honor in 1969. Washburn’s works can be seen in many museums around the world, and also at the Charles Thompson Memorial Hall, a historic deaf club in St. Paul, Minnesota, that was designed by his friend Olof Hanson (a renowned deaf architect who also attended the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf and Gallaudet College around the same time as Washburn)

BIG thanks go to the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to the September 28-29, 2010 tours of the deaf and hard of hearing artists at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts:

Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens – Doug Bahl, Teika Pakalns and Cynthia Weitzel

Minneapolis Institute of Arts – Debra “Debbi” Hegstrom, Kristin Lenaburg, Thomas Rassieur and the

MIA Docent Program Sign Language Interpreters – Mary Baremore, Patty Gordon, Je rey Kirkwood, Lauri Krouse, Richard Laurion, Patty McCutcheon, the University of Minnesota

Interpreting/Captioning Unit and Jules Peterson Eugène Laermans

ASLize yours,
Robert L. Mason (RLM & RLMDEAF)

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