Historically many outstanding artists who were deaf have contributed to the visual arts, such as: Louis Frisino, Felix Kowalewski, Granville Redmond, Cadwallader Washbum, and Regina Olson Hughes. While these distinguished artists have enhanced the field of art, their work has not focused on the Deaf experience itself. With a heightened appreciation, acceptance, and acknowledgment of Deaf culture and American Sign Language (ASL), we see a virtual explosion of Deaf artists moving away from mainstream art to art that gives voice to their unique cultural experiences. This movement in the United States is known as Deaf View/Image Art (De'VIA). This paper will discuss the historical contexts for a shift in subject matter by North American Deaf artists and the meaning of Deaf View/Image Art. In addition, an analysis of two major Deaf artists and their significant impact on the field of visual art will be presented.

Publication Date



This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:

Durr, P. (1999), Deconstructing the Forced Assimilation of Deaf People via De'VIA Resistance and Affirmation Art. Visual Anthropology Review, 15: 47–68

which has been published in final form at doi:10.1525/var.2000.15.2.47. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Art and Imaging Studies (NTID)


RIT – Main Campus