Day 10 of 28 Days in February Project
This painting is inspired by Paddy Ladd's book, Understanding Deaf Culture InSearch of Deafhood and
Ella Mae Lentz when she had performed and interviewed this story. With permission from the HeART of Deaf Culture.
The Deafness Museum has a modern space that displays portraits in tribute to doctors who did devices surgical procedures to improve hearing and women teachers who were committed to teaching speech to Deaf children. In the center of the room in a place of honour, stands a huge statue of AG Bell. The Deaf janitor pays little attention to these works, cleaning around them and earning a good salary. One day, the Deaf janitor goes to the Deaf club to play cards and meets an elderly Deaf man whom he had never seen before. After explaining to him that he worked at the Deafness Museum, he tells him about a secret door in the back of the museum. Later that night, he spies the outline of a door he had never noticed before in the back of the museum. This door leads to a dark space full of cobwebs with many pictures turned facing the wall. By righting each picture, he comes upon evidence of signing communities such as Martha's Vineyard. The room also contains an old film projector. The black and white film shows a Deaf man signing about protecting sign language, and about sign language being a noble and god-given gift. It becomes clear to the Deaf janitor as he explores that he has found the original building. The modern Deafness Museum had been annexed to this, the original Deafhood Museum. At last, he realizes the Deafhood Museum has been there all along.
In the painting, there are two images. One image shows the people around the Deafness museum. The other image shows the back of the museum and the janitor spied the secret door and when he opens the door, there's cobwebs on Veditz's and Clerc's portraits. The Deafhood Museum is dark with black, blue and white in colours.