We are all fascinated by physiognomy, intrigued by the appearance of the people we admire. These perceptual portraits of more than 100 thinkers who have fashioned our understanding of mind and behavior provide an alternative view of the history of psychology that is both pleasing and puzzling.
Francis Bacon, René Descartes, Pierre Broca, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Ruth Benedict, Allen Newell, David Marr and scores of others whose ideas have made psychology an empirical discipline emerge from motifs specifically drawn by the author or derived from a figure or text in one of the portrayed person's books, or an apparatus he or she invented. The ingenious treatment of portrait/motifs often challenges the viewer to discern the faces embedded in them and always tells us more than how these students of mind looked: these portraits reflect their thoughts and lead us to forage further into their lives and legacies.
The portraits and motifs have been manipulated in a variety of ways, using graphic and photographic procedures. They are arranged in order of birth date in a format of one page of descriptive text facing a full-page perceptual portrait. The text presents a brief synopsis of the person portrayed, that person's ideas, and the source of both the portrait and the motif. Interrelations between people are stressed, bringing to light common threads that run through the work of particular groups and adding yet another level to this unique gallery of psychology's pioneers.