Rights information: Copyright: Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
This woodblock print, likely from a blockbook - a short form of illustrative book popular in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries, and often comprising of religious scenes - depicts the miracle of Jesus healing two blind men during his Ministry, as accounted in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 9:27-31).
"The Ministry of Christ" refers to the series of events following Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist, and subsequent journey across the province of Roman Judea to spread the faith and perform miracles, during the course of which he recruited his Disciples. One such miracle is the healing of two blind men, who sought him out and requested that he give them sight. In this particular illustration we see Jesus surrounded by his Disciples, while one of the blind men is led by a dog, the other holding onto his arm for support.
Community curation: As part of a lecture exploring the intersection of Disability and Faith, given to the public during the Ashmolean Museum's "One World" Festival in February 2023, a blind Christian community member in Oxford remarked to me during preparation that it's noteworthy that the blind men sought out Jesus for his miracles; Jesus did not seek them out, nor was his healing seen as necessary. There are multiple miracles that take place during his Ministry that concern the healing of the blind or other disabilities, but these miracles are likely meant to emphasise the strength of faith in Christianity and the power of God, rather than necessarily pass a value judgement on disabled people.
- Kyle Lewis Jordan, Curating for Change Fellow, Ashmolean Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum