DIGNITY and A Person's Worth

Robert Sargent Austin (British, 1895–1973), <em>Beggars</em>, 1924, etching. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick C. Elbel, 1987.049.008

Robert Sargent Austin (British, 1895–1973), Beggars, 1924, etching. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick C. Elbel, 1987.049.008

SNITE Museum of Art January 15–March 11, 2012

In collaboration with Prof. Julia Douthwaite, French and Francophone Studies, the Museum installed two exhibitions and was the venue for a series of events that highlighted the contributions made to modern humanitarian thinking by the Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778).

The DIGNITY exhibition was a smaller version of the photography exhibition,DIGNITÉ: Droits Humains et Pauvreté (DIGNITY: Human Rights and Poverty), organized by Amnesty International France. The Snite Museum version consisted of fifty-two, color, large-format digital photographs by five photographers. It featured portraits, landscapes, and personal testimonies of poverty-stricken people living today in Mexico, Egypt, Nigeria, India, and Macedonia. The five photographers were Guillaume Herbaut, Michaël Zumstein, Jean-François Joly, Philippe Brault, and Johann Rousselot. The second exhibition, A Person's Worth, contained 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century images of peasants and craftsmen that offered examples of how little the economic status of the general population has changed since Rousseau wrote his treatise, Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men, in 1754.

The exhibitions and events in the Snite Museum were made possible in part by a grant in support for the "Rousseau 2011: On the Road to DIGNITY Project" from the Henkels Lecture Fund, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Letters, University of Notre Dame. Additional support was provided by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures; the Kellogg Institute for International Studies; the Program in Liberal Studies; the Department of Political Science; the Department of History; the Center for Social Concerns; the Undergraduate Minor in Poverty Studies; the Program in Gender Studies; and the Department of American Studies.

Video Interviews with the photographers and Curator