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Wednesday, 21 March 2012, 6:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

To Wear or Not to Wear: Changing social norms with regard to eyewear

Neil Handley

Studying the history of spectacles brings together the twin themes of technological development and mankind's increasing understanding of physical optics, but it is as much about charting different historical attitudes to the face and one's appearance before others. Only if we attempt to understand the cultural influences and motivations for wearing (or not wearing) spectacles do we gain an accurate picture of why some developments in eyewear styles were so slow to gain speed and why ideas of fashion have always caused some people to prefer suffering over the available relief.

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Neil Handley is recognised as one of this country's principal historians of spectacles and vision aids. He has been curator of the British Optical Association Museum at The College of Optometrists since 1998 and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers. He has published articles on spectacles frame design, the history of opticians and artifical eyes and facial prosthetics. His first full length book 'Cult Eyewear' is due to be published by Merrell in Summer 2011.

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21 March 2012

To Wear or Not to Wear: Changing social norms with regard to eyewear
Neil Handley

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