Roger Cardinal

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Roger Cardinal
Born(1940-02-27)27 February 1940
Died1 November 2019(2019-11-01) (aged 79)
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Academic work
DisciplineLiterary and Visual Studies
InstitutionsUniversity of Kent at Canterbury
Main interestssurrealism, outsider art

Roger Cardinal was a professor at the University of Kent at Canterbury, England,[1] and an art scholar who originated the term "outsider art".[2]


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.[3]


He was the author of books including Surrealism: Permanent Revelation (1970, with Robert Short) [4] and Outsider Art (1972),[5] 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 [6] 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.[7] Cardinal was also on the International Jury of the INSITA Triannual Exhibition, held in Slovakia.[8]



  1. ^ "In Remembrance: Roger Cardinal". American Folk Art Museum. November 5, 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  2. ^ Greenberger, Alex (2019-11-26). "Roger Cardinal, Free-Thinking Scholar Who Coined the Term 'Outsider Art,' Has Died at 79". ARTnews. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  3. ^ Darwent, Charles (2019-11-26). "Roger Cardinal obituary". Guardian. Retrieved 2019-12-02.
  4. ^ Cardinal, Roger; Short, Robert (1970). Surrealism: Permanent Revelation. London: Studio Vista/Dutton. ISBN 9780289797099.
  5. ^ Cardinal, Roger (1972). Outsider Art. London: Studio Vista. ISBN 9780289701683.
  6. ^ McDonald, Roger. An Interview with Roger Cardinal, “The Father of Outsider Art” (Part 1), accessed 2019-11-06.
  7. ^ Raw Erotica: Sex, Lust and Desire in Outsider Art, ed. John Maizels, Raw Vision, 2013, p.208.
  8. ^ INSITA International Triennial of Self-Taught Art (2010, 9th Triennial), accessed 2019-11-06.