Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb

Description

This lithograph is an exterior view of the Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, located at the northwest corner of Broad and Pine Streets in Philadelphia. Designed by Philadelphia architect John Haviland, the building was constructed in 1824–26, soon after the school's founding. The illustration was created by artist Albert Newsam (1809–64) and was used as the frontispiece for the annual report of the board of directors of the institution for the year 1850. Born deaf and mute in Steubenville, Ohio, Newsam showed artistic promise as a young boy. At age 11, he was taken to Philadelphia by a man who posed as a deaf-mute brother and intended to exploit the boy's artistic skills for his own gain. Newsam secured a safe haven at the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, where he received an education. In 1827, he became an apprentice at the engraving firm of Cephas G. Childs and by 1829 was supplying Childs with many of the prints he offered to the public. Most noted for his portraits, Newsam later became the principal artist at the firm of Peter S. Duval.

Last updated: October 26, 2012