This Mattered to Me: "Helen Keller: A Remembrance," by Berthold Lowenfeld, originally published in the May 1980 issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, Volume 74, Number 5, pp. 169-174.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

I have not had time for real heroes for about 30 years now. However, as my hunger for heroes died out in adulthood, my need for influences from the world I inhabited did not. I think it is fair to say that it is part of our human condition to need guidance from others and to see ourselves in relation to others in our social groups. As humans, we need to create identities from our societies, and how we see our influences is an important element of these identities (Berger & Luckmann, 2016). Beyond acts of worship, the people who influence us become the stimuli of our contemporary thinking. This relationship is perhaps an appeal of being a researcher, writer, or teacher: it is the ideal of being an influence on others and therefore the social world we inhabit. It is also a legacy we leave for future societies. Berthold Lowenfeld and his brother Viktor were two such influencers on my research and teaching on blindness. Viktor Lowenfeld, a trained sculptor, taught art in Vienna's school for the blind in the 1930s, using this experience to write influential works on this topic (Lowenfeld, 1934, 1951). He went on to become one of the most influential mainstream art educators in the United States after leaving Austria for England and the United States during the rise of National Socialism. As a professor of art education, Viktor Lowenfeld continued to draw reference from art by students with visual impairments (that is, blindness or low vision) in his influential book, Creative and Mental Growth (Lowenfeld, 1987). Yet, despite his important work, it was Berthold Lowenfeld that had a greater influence on the education of visually impaired students in the 20th century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-213
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Visual Impairment and Blindness
Volume110
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • Helen Keller
  • Berthold Lowenfeld
  • blind
  • deaf blind
  • History
  • School for the Blind

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