This exhibition explores a group of rare portraits from the 17th to the 19th centuries, held by the Royal College of Physicians. The portraits depict disabled men and women of all ages and walks of life, many of whom earned a living exhibiting themselves to the public.
Some individuals, such as conjoined ‘Siamese’ twins Chang and Eng Bunker (1811–74), are still famous today. Others, including professional artist Thomas Inglefield (b 1769), who was born without legs or hands, are now forgotten.
The exhibition uncovers the extraordinary hidden histories behind the portraits and looks at their impact today through contemporary responses from disabled people.
The 27 disabled participants from across the UK were invited to have their photographic portraits taken and to be filmed and, which form part of the exhibition and can be viewed on this website.