Roger Cardinal  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Roger Cardinal (27 February 1940 - 1 November 2019) was an English art scholar who originated the term "outsider art" in his book Outsider Art (1972).


He studied at St Dunstan's College in south London and attended Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge as an undergraduate. His PhD, also at Cambridge, was on the surrealist conception of love. In 1965 he became an assistant professor in the French department of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. After a stint as a university lecturer at Warwick University, he moved to the University of Kent at Canterbury.


He was the author of books including Surrealism: Permanent Revelation (1970, with Robert Short) and Outsider Art (1972), and was professor of literary and visual studies at the University of Kent. Outsider Art was the first book in English to be published on the subject of art brut and introduced the term "outsider art". In 1979 he and Victor Musgrave curated Outsiders at the Hayward Gallery, London. Cardinal published widely on individual outsider artists and wrote essays on outsider architecture, prison art, autistic art, and memory painting. He was a contributing editor of Raw Vision and co-wrote Raw Erotica (2013) along with John Maizels and Colin Rhodes. Cardinal was also on the International Jury of the INSITA Triannual Exhibition, held in Slovakia .

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