Yorkshire Museum

Doctored Portraits

On display from 7th – 31st October 2021

In 2021, the Yorkshire Museum hosted the National Portrait Gallery’s Richard III portrait as part of the ‘Coming Home’ programme. The portrait is a 16th century copy of an earlier painting. The earliest paintings of the King show evidence of being altered – doctored – to make Richard’s scoliosis appear more severe. This was part of a Tudor propaganda campaign, presenting Richard’s physical impairment as a sign of his unfitness to rule.

In August 2021, the Yorkshire Museum ran ‘Doctored Portraits’ workshops, where we invited people with disabilities and impairments to explore representations of disability in art. We altered well-known works of art to encourage the viewer to reflect on visible and invisible impairments and on how we think about disability.

As well as the collages, we produced a short film and guide on the Social Model of disability, to suggest changes people  can make to help disabled people feel more at home in York.

You can watch the video here.

We would like to thank Sorcha Ni Foghluda for planning and facilitating the events and our participants;

Jennifer Stanley

Stephen Buckly

Nanny Nelly

Sandra Banks 

Susan Todd 

Dai O’Brien 

Dave Wycherley