Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Margaret Lindauer

Second Advisor

Eric Garberson


Since the inception of new museum theory, and the emphasis it places on the social purpose of museums within society, museum professionals and museum studies theorists have struggled to define what role museums must take in combating prejudices and fostering better understating of difference. Richard Sandell is one such theorist who writes about the importance of, and need for, greater inclusion of disabled artists and works of art containing themes of disability into exhibitions and display. This thesis examines Sandell’s scholarship, noting its foundation in new museum theory and disability studies, and then, employing a case study of the American Visionary Art Museum, illustrates the issues illuminated in Sandell’s writing. Finally, utilizing the case study, this thesis will offer aims for further research within museum studies not yet considered by Sandell, especially within educational goals and activities of the museum.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2008