Behrens Video Archive
Ames and Anamorphosis: THE MAN WHO MADE DISTORTED ROOMS / Part One
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Ames, Adelbert, 1880-1955; Anamorphosis (Visual perception); Anamorphic art;
This is the first part of a three-part series of video talks that overview the life of American artist, scientist, and psychologist Adelbert Ames II (1880-1955).
Ames was primarily known for having devised about twenty-five laboratory set-ups, collectively referred to as the Ames Demonstrations in Perception.
This first part focuses on his life, the demonstrations, and the circumstances that prompted him to construct them. Perhaps the most familiar of these are the Ames Distorted Room, the Rotating Trapezoid Window, and the Chair Demonstration.
Featured prominently in this segment is his connection with British-American social scientist Gregory Bateson, whom he met in 1947. It also surveys his connections among members of his prominent New England family, among them US Civil War Generals Benjamin Butler and Adelbert Ames I, suffragist Blanche Ames Ames, botanist Oakes Ames, inventor and politican Butler Ames, and writer George Plimpton.
This series is a consequence of long-term research by Roy R. Behrens, UNI emeritus professor, who replicated and exhibited some of the Ames Demonstrations at UNI in the early 1970s, and began to research Ames’ life. In 1994, he was invited to lecture on the subject at Dartmouth College, where Ames’ work had been conducted. Written, produced and narrated by Roy R. Behrens (©2022).
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Behrens, Roy R., "Ames and Anamorphosis: THE MAN WHO MADE DISTORTED ROOMS / Part One" (2022). Behrens Video Archive. 6.