I am a certified bookaholic and am embracing my addiction. Here you will find my short book reviews and other wonderful information all about books. I will also share my love for animals and show you some of my knitting projects.
Today it is my immense pleasure to kick of the Hidden In Plain Sight tour! Wow, this book blew me away!
Publisher: Informed Decisions Publishing, October 8, 2013 Category: Nonfiction – multicultural; cultural/social issues; biography & memoirs; art criticism Tour Dates: February, 2014 Available in: ebook, 143 pages
Norman Rockwell’s America was not all white. As early as 1936, Rockwell was portraying people of color with empathy and a dignity often denied them at the time. And he created these portraits from live models.
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Other People in Norman Rockwell’s America unfolds, for the first time, the stories of the Asian, African, and Native Americans who modeled for Norman Rockwell. These people of color, though often hidden in plain sight, are present throughout Rockwell’s more than 4000 illustrations. People like the John Lane family, Navajos poignantly depicted in the virtually unknown Norman Rockwell painting, “Glen Canyon Dam.” People like Isaac Crawford, a ten year old African-American Boy Scout who helped Norman Rockwell finally integrate the Boy Scout calendar.
In this engrossing and often humorous narrative, Jane Allen Petrick explores what motivated Norman Rockwell to slip people of color “into the picture” in the first place. And in so doing, she persuasively documents the famous illustrator’s deep commitment to and pointed portrayals of ethnic tolerance, portrayals that up to now have been, as Norman Rockwell biographer Laura Claridge so clearly put it, “bizarrely neglected”.
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Other People in Norman Rockwell’s America is an eye opener for everyone who loves Norman Rockwell, everyone who hates Norman Rockwell and for all those people in between who never thought much about Norman Rockwell because they believed Norman Rockwell never thought much about them. This book will expand the way you think about Norman Rockwell. And it will deepen the way you think about Norman Rockwell’s America.
When Jane Allen Petrick asked me if I wanted to read her book, Hidden In Plain Sight, I knew I had to, after reading the description. You see, I always thought that the great American artist, Norman Rockwell was raciest. I never read anything about him, so my perception came purely from the paintings of his that I saw. The people were always white in them.
It turns out, that I want in the minority with that perception however, in Hidden In Plain Sight, Jane Allen Petrick sets us straight. There are actually quite a few paintings where he address social and civil rights issues. Petrick even writes about the real life African American, Chinese American, and Native American models he used in his paintings. She has had the privilege of meeting some of the models and they shared their stories of meeting and modelling for Norman Rockwell.
So why haven't many of see this other side of Rockwell? Those of you my age and older, may remember some on the Saturday Evening Post magazine's, Norman Rockwell covers. He was under contract to create all those covers for them. They would only allow paintings of wholesome looking white people.
This book is such a gem. I felt like I got to know some of the models along with Petrick. It read more like a memoir than a biography, one that I couldn't put down. I read it in one sitting and was up until the wee hours of the morning. I found it absolutely fascinating. This a book I think all Americans should read. I just hope that Jane allen Petrick writes a follow up. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
I received an ebook copy for my honest opinion.
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About Jane Allen Petrick:
Jane Allen Petrick is the author of several books on topics ranging from biography to workplace issues. She was a bi-weekly columnist for the Knight Ridder Newswire, and her articles have appeared in numerous publications including theNew York Times, the Denver Post and theWashington Post. Kirkus Review describes her book, Hidden in Plain Sight: The Other People in Norman Rockwell’s America as “smart, nuanced” and written with “clarity and insight.”
Born and raised in Connecticut, Jane earned a BA in economics from Barnard College and received her Ph.D. in organizational psychology from Saybrook University. Retired as a vice-president of ATT Wireless, she is now an adjunct professor at Capella and American Sentinel Universities, and has provided consultation in organizational behavior and diversity competence to numerous corporate clients including IBM, Nextel and Xerox.
Jane Allen Petrick was chosen as one of the “100 Best and Brightest Business Women in America” by Ebony Magazine.
Long a passionate supporter of cultural and historic preservation, Jane has contributed to local preservation efforts in both Florida and New York State. A licensed tour director, Jane conducts cultural heritage tours on the East Coast, from the Everglades to the Maritimes.
Jane and her husband, Kalle, divide their time between New York’s Hudson Valley and Miami, Florida.