Art & Lit for GWV

Art & Literature about George Veditz
(reproduced with permission)

Video of Uzi Buzgalo explaining his portrait of George W. Veditz
move playhead to 4:10

On August 13, 2016 – De’VIA Central Facebook decided to host a challenge for artists to make artworks honoring George Veditz for his birthday.  Their artworks on in this PDF


Painting by Louis Frisino

George Veditz by Warren Miller 30 x 40

George Veditz by Warren Miller 30 x 40

Veditz died with his boots on by Patti Durr

Veditz died with his boots on by Patti Durr

Veditz's Light Bulbs by David Call

Veditz’s Light Bulbs by David Call

by Patti Durr

by Patti Durr

Old Debate: Oralism and Manualism by Nancy Rourke

Old Debate: Oralism and Manualism by Nancy Rourke

George Veditz by Arnaud Balard

George Veditz by Arnaud Balard

Adreann Clark’s cartoon for Veditz

Comic on Veditz and AG Bell by Carlisle Robinson (note has text descriptor for each panel at the end of the blog entry)

Veditz tile by Ellen Mansfield

Veditz with Red Polkadot Bowtie by Ellen Mansfield

The Gift by Cynthia Weitzel

The Gift by Cynthia Weitzel

Veditz by Yiqiao Wang

Veditz by Yiqiao Wang

The Immortality Ascension of Veditz by David Call

The Immortality Ascension of Veditz by David Call

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Nancy Rourke

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing by Nancy Rourke

Veditz Wants You by David Ennis for ASL Pride Parade 2013

Veditz Wants You by David Ennis for ASL Pride Parade 2013

Forefathers by Warren Miller

Forefathers by Warren Miller

Guardians by Patti Durr

Guardians by Patti Durr

CSD commissioned portrait of George W. Veditz by Chuck Baird

CSD commissioned portrait of George W. Veditz by Chuck Baird

Veditz by Diane Squires

Veditz by Diane Squires

Veditz' Preservation of Sign Language by Paul Scearce

Veditz’ Preservation of Sign Language by Paul Scearce

George and the Dragon by David Call

George and the Dragon by David Call

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 5.36.48 PM.png

Veditz' Dream Tree by Ellen Mansfield

Veditz’ Dream Tree by Ellen Mansfield

(right) Part of the “RSD, from A to Z” project done by Guy Wonder and the students of the Rochester School for the Deaf (2008).





This painting (left)  is a tribute to the life of George W. Veditz.  The right “day” side features a rising sun and blue skies shining down on the steeples of Frederick, Maryland and the Maryland  School for the Deaf, where Veditz first learned American Sign Language and had peers of his own.  The left “night” side has a dark sky against the Kissing Camels of the Gardens of the Gods near Colorado Springs where Veditz taught, married, and advocated.  The East shows the beginning of his Deaf life and the West being his resting place.  The central tree has joining hands and transparent hand-shaped leaves growing off purple branches.  Various flowers border the bottom edges of the painting as a blue stream with fish running through it flows by.  Two chickens with chicks run free as purple roots spread throughout asVeditz won prizes in horticulture and poultry breeding.  The central area is filled with butterflies and dragonflies to convey the multitude and magnificence of ASL and Deaf culture for as Veditz said in 1910 we “are first, last, and all the time the people of the eye.” 

Veditz’s Three Chapters of Life by Ellen Mansfield

Veditz’s Three Chapters of Life by Ellen Mansfield——————————————————-

Veditz’s Three Chapters of Life by Ellen Mansfield   Mixed media 2012

The first panel in this mosaic artwork has blue, yellow, and red hands at the bottom to represent Veditz opposing of Oralism after he moved to Colorado Springs in 1888.  The pebbles are from the Garden of the God in Colorado Springs and they represent Deaf babies being under the ground.  Veditz worked to bring sign language into the light and preserve it in Deaf education.  The small white area with black beads shows how a few hearing people with power can exercise audism over Deaf people – denying them their human linguistic rights.

The second panel features several small flower like beads to represent Veditz’s love for flowers – specifically Dahlias.  There is one set of eyes, which are Veditz’s to show how he was a visionary and on guard for Deaf children’s sake. The row of red rocks show the Deaf children are now rising up under Veditz’ guidance.  The blue, green and yellow convey elements of nature.

The third panel has two vertical lines of pebbles on both sides illustrating how our history is being passed on and we are building from the ground up from our ancestors.  The bottom blue rectangular tile with circular waves shows the growing role of artivism in rejuvenating the people of the eye.  The central feature is the pebbles around the red eye sun guarding ASL and Deaf culture.



Christmas Poem by George W. Veditz (click title to view) Veditz Christmas Poem

To George William Veditz
 by Agatha Tiegel Hanson

A song to him who grasps                                                                                                                    And flings out waving banner to the wind,
Riding with valiant heart and ringing cheer
To help his suffering kind!

How clear and unafraid.
His words are hurled like lances at the foe.
Piercing their pride of arrogance and cant!
Down in the dust they go.

Our brave and fearless knight.
We lift our hearts and voices in thy praise.
Thy noble quest shall end in victory,
And honors crown thy days.

Wrong can never be right.
And truth shall stand though towers and castles fall.
Lo, in the east there dawns a beaming light!
Our sun shall sine o’er all.

                        —-Agatha Tiegel Hanson

On Preservation

In memory of George W. Veditz (1861-1937)

In Milan, Italy, proponents of the speech-only method at the International Congress on Education of the Def conference voted to ban sign language, which quickly affected the quality of education for deaf children worldwide.  The year was 1880.  The deaf community was never the same again.


Mr. Veditz, you haunt me like a shadow.

In 1913, you established a program of short films

created through the National Association of the Deaf

In the name of preserving sign language.

In front of a huge drape, you stood

Slightly hesitant at first, but your hands soon

Imparted the understatement of eloquence.

“For the last 33 years with eyes filled

with tears and hearts broken,

the French deaf people have watched

this beautiful language of signs

snatched away from their schools.”

“For the last 33 years, they have strived and fought

for the restitution of signs in the schools

but for 33 years their teachers have cast them aside

and refused to listen to their pleas…”

“We want to preserve the signs as others now use them,

to keep and pass on to coming generations.

Many have tried to preserve and pass on their signs.

But there is one known means of passing this on,

through the use of moving picture films…”


I capture footage of myself on my cell phone.

I see instantly what needs to be fixed:

The lighting, the tripod, my shirt.

I perform my ASL poem.  Again and again

until my signs are properly articulated.

I upload my best take to my computer and trim it.

I translate my ASL into English subtitles

for the signing-impaired.  I upload the polished clip

online where millions can view it.

Then I go outside and walk my dog.


You continue explaining the purpose of these films:

“We have raised a fund of $5,000…

I regret that we do not have $20,000,

for we could have used it all.

If we had this amount of money,

we could have performances in sign language,

sermons in sign language, lectures in sign language…”

You still appear as a ghost standing behind me

and behind each person positing signed videos

online.  In your eyes are tiny flickers of light

reflected from our warm computer screens,

like streetlamps illuminating a greater clarity

until the roads everywhere converge toward home

where hands aflame make shadows evaporate.

                                    –Raymond Luczak

Ruthie Jordan’s ABC story honoring Veditz

Ruthie Jordan’s 2 and 5 Poem to Veditz at Viva Veditz cemetery ceremony

Joseph Davis 1-10 # story honoring Veditz

To George William Veditz:  Since You Died

You’d never recognize Baltimore today,
Its inner harbor full of chic shops,
An aquarium, fancy restaurants
And luxury boats.

The Hessian Barracks at your old school, MSD,
Still stand
And among all the new buildings
there’s one named after you.

Oh, and Gallaudet College (now University)
Survives after 150 years and
Has had Deaf presidents.

Colorado Springs is no longer a humble town,
and a few of your prized gladioli and dahlias
Still grow in the yard
Of your old house on Custer street.

And your beloved Germany…
Well, maybe it was good
You didn’t live to see
World War 2
(and any of the other wars,
for that matter).

You would be pleased to know that
(thanks to your efforts)
Many Deaf folks today work in the government.
There are laws forbidding discrimination
Deaf lawyers, Deaf doctors.
And you know that telephone for the eye
You mentioned to Bell?
We have them now–
(with no thanks to Bell)
that we can use
to chat with friends
near and far
right from our own home.

Instead of the little paper families
And letters to the editor
We have friends on facebook.
Blogs and vlogs,
And announcements on twitter,
Which are received
A second after sending.
But there are still controversies
And clever nicknames.

I would love to see what you think
Of ASL poetry,
Deaf plays,
Deaf films,
And De’VIA.
Oh, I think you would
Scrutinize them all
With that devilish grin
On your face.

But seventy-seven years later,
Some things are pretty much the same:
NAD is still pretty rudderless
The spirit of AG Bell, that wolf
In sheep’s clothing,
Still lives.
‘Tis true,
‘Tis a pity.

You were right about
The importance of film
And after nearly disappearing
(As some of the other old NAD films did),
your “Preservation of Sign Language”
Is now in the Library of Congress.
Without those priceless films
We never would have seen
The pure old signs of
EM Gallaudet, John Hotchkiss,
And old Rob Roy, The McGregor.
Yes, we now know, as you did then,
There should have been more.

People today would say
You were right about
Sign language being
The noblest gift.
But might argue it seems to be a gift
For Hearing folk–
Hearing babies and high school students
College second language students–
And still often
Denied to Deaf children.

Oh, George, you’d be appalled at
The newest Moloch technology
To make Deaf babies hear
The state of Deaf education,
What they have tried to do to our sign language,
And the existence still
Of false prophets.

The good news is
Since you died, there are still Deaf people
On Earth
The bad news is: there are still folks
Who wish there weren’t.

But the best, best news is this–
Your film reaches down through the years,
You still speak to US,
And the future people of the eye
Telling us
To cherish
To defend.
And you, your life,
Has shown us
Yes, we can.

–Karen Christie


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