Ugly Face Club

DEAR READER: To learn more about this “Most Honourable and Facetious Society,” check out  “The Ugly Face Club: A Case Study in the Tangled Politics and Aesthetics of Deformity,” by the Author, published in Ugliness: The Non-Beautiful in Art and Theory (I.B. Tauris) or this entry onUgly Clubs” in Nineteenth-Century Disability (A Digital Reader).

From 1806 advertisement reprinted in 1912 edition of Ye Ugly Face Clubb’s papers

Otherwise known as the “Most Honourable and Facetious Society of Ugly Faces,” which gathered in Liverpool, England, between 1743-1754

“Deformity”

From Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language (1785): “1. Ugliness; ill-favouredness,” “2. Ridiculousness; the quality of something worthy to be laughed at, or censured.”

UFC Cover detail (1912 edition)

Leonardo da Vinci’s studies of grotesques (c. 1490)

From Charles Le Brun’s L’expression des passions (1698)

From Johann Kaspar Lavater’s Essays on Physiognomy (1775-8)

Detail from William Hogarth’s Characters & Caricaturas (1743), author of The Analysis of Beauty

Paul Sandby’s Puggs Graces Etched from his Original Daubing (1753-4), caricaturing Hogarth painting monstrously deformed women in order to conform to his “Line of Beauty” (called “Line of Deformity” by critics)

Detail of John Wilkes, after Richard Houston (1769)

Joshua Reynolds, “‘Blinking Sam’ Johnson'” (1775)

Club of Ugly-Faces, London (1715)

Caricature of Alexander Pope by John Dennis (1729)

Ugly Club of Annapolis, Maryland (c. 1740s)

Ugly Club of Washington College, Kentucky (1869)

Paul Strand’s Blind Woman (1916)

(See also Ugly Laws.)

President of Ugly Club of Piobicco, Italy (2003)

Ugliness-Cover

To learn more about how these images relate to one another and the lineage of Ugly Clubs, read “The Ugly Face Club: A Case Study in the Tangled Politics and Aesthetics of Deformity,” by the Author, in Ugliness: The Non-Beautiful in Art and Theory (I.B. Tauris) or this entry in on “Ugly Clubs” in Nineteenth-Century Disability: A Digital Reader.

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What of the Five Missing Portraits???

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* These portraits were connected in a presentation for the Associations of Art Historians in in Warwick, UK, in April 2011.

Published on December 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm  Comments Off  
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