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Christine Slobogin

Dickie Orpen's Surgical Drawings: Interpretations on Reconstruction, Artistic Narrative and Materiality, Wartime Masculinity, and Perceptions of Injury.

This dissertation will grapple with a collection of over two thousand pencil and pen drawings by a little-known surgical artist named Dickie Orpen (1914-2008), the daughter of William Orpen (1878-1931) and the student of Henry Tonks (1862-1937). Even with such legendary artistic lineage, Orpen's work has yet to be studied thoroughly. This dissertation will analyse Orpen's drawings in the context of other artists depicting facial injury to determine what her collection of surgical images says about the narrative for reconstruction after World War II, the meaning of the materiality of artistic depictions of surgery, the state of British masculinity during and after the war, and changes in perceptions of disability and injury.

Supervisor: Dr Suzannah Biernoff.

Image: Dickie Orpen, BAPRAS/D 396, 1944, pencil on paper, Archive of British Association of Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), London.