Upload new images. The image library for this site will open in a new window.
Upload new documents. The document library for this site will open in a new window.
Show web part zones on the page. Web parts can be added to display dynamic content such as calendars or photo galleries.
Choose between different arrangements of page sections. Page layouts can be changed even after content has been added.
Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.
Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.
Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.
Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.
Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.
Cycle through size options for this image or video.
Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.
Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.
Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.
Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.
Remove the video from the media panel.
This 1852 illustration, “Little Eva Reading to Uncle Tom in the
Arbor,” was done by Hammatt Billings for the first edition of Harriet
Beecher Stowe’s book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” It is from UD Special
Collections and Museums.
From literature to
magazine articles to cereal ads, illustrators have long been
commissioned to produce work that attracts attention and often becomes
part of popular culture and public perception, said the University of
Delaware’s Robyn Phillips-Pendleton.
An illustrator herself, the professor of art and design
knows that those perceptions that commercial illustrations reflect and
disseminate can be — and often have been — derogatory representations of
such groups as African Americans or Asian immigrants.
“Illustrations that were commissioned for public consumption,
specifically for the public to see, are interwoven in our daily lives,
and they have been for centuries,” said Phillips-Pendleton, who is a
curator of a groundbreaking exhibition on the subject opening this
month. “From them, we get our perceptions of people and groups of
The exhibition, Imprinted: Illustrating Race, will be on view at the Norman Rockwell Museum
in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, from June 11 through Oct. 30.
Co-curators are Phillips-Pendleton and the museum’s deputy director and
chief curator, Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, with a distinguished panel of
national advisers including 10 scholars, curators and artists.
Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.
This 1921 oil on canvas, “His Bodyguard,” by Edward V. Brewer was
created as an illustration for Cream of Wheat cereal in “The Saturday
The show will feature more than 150 works that were created from 1590
to today and were widely published. It will examine how these harmful
stereotypes influenced people’s perceptions about race as it seeks to
open a dialogue on the subject. In addition to such illustrations as the
original representation of Aunt Jemima, the exhibition also includes
some objects such as the box of pancake mix on which that illustration
A significant collection of published illustrations for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin from UD’s Special Collections will be featured in the exhibition.
People often visit museum exhibits to see original works of fine art,
but Imprinted: Illustrating Race is different because the illustrations
on view were produced for the general public to see, specifically to
sell something, Phillips-Pendleton said. Some, like Aunt Jemima, were
created for advertising campaigns, but others were commissioned to sell
newspapers or magazines.
“Sometimes, the more outrageous the illustration, the more
periodicals were sold,” Phillips-Pendleton said. “And the illustrators
and engravers understood that as they worked with editors and
Her own scholarship has focused on this subject, including a chapter
titled “Race, Perception and Responsibility” she wrote in the textbook A Companion to Illustration. Her research on the history surrounding illustrations contributed a key part of the exhibition.
“People who come to this show will be able to see what was created in
that specific time and get an idea of what life was like for people
living then,” she said. “In my research, I follow the images. I want to
see when an illustration was done, how it connects to other
illustrations and what was going on in the country at that time.”
Artist Chris Hopkins created this 2012 oil on panel, “Flyer of the
332nd,” part of the Tuskegee Airmen Series for the Air Force Art
The exhibition explores how systems of publishing were used to shape
beliefs and attitudes, said Laurie Norton Moffatt, director and CEO of
“Published images hold powerful sway on shaping our cultural
attitudes,” she said in a news release announcing the exhibition.
“Images can uplift, as Norman Rockwell’s work did, and they also can be
deployed to establish negative and demeaning attitudes, as often
happened with intention during formative centuries of published images
in the United States. … Published illustration had a role in framing the
United States racial attitudes — it is also a powerful tool for
reframing stereotypes and celebrating this country’s strength in many
The three sections of Imprinted: Illustrating Race explore the
history of racial stereotypes in illustration, the changes and artistic
outpouring by African Americans that emerged from the Harlem
Renaissance through World War II, and the activism that occurred through
art from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s to today.
Those modern pieces, by Black illustrators and others, highlight work
that is striving to create positive and inclusive images,
Phillips-Pendleton said, noting that even in the 1800s, not all images
were derogatory. Views change over time, both for individual artists and
for society, she said.
Robyn Phillips-Pendleton, who joined the UD faculty in 1996, is a
practicing illustrator, visual storyteller, designer and educator.
She is the interim director of the MFA in Illustration Practice
program at Maryland Institute College of Art and is a member of the
board of directors of New York’s Society of Illustrators.
exhibited her work in national and international exhibitions and is an
artist for the U.S. Air Force Artist Program; her paintings documented
the events following the earthquake in Haiti.
Phillips-Pendleton has created illustrations for institutions of
higher education, children's CD covers, editorial magazines, picture
books and publishing companies.
Her most recent illustrated picture book
is Homework for Breakfast, a poem written and performed by the Twin Poets of Wilmington, Delaware.
Her research focuses on the history of illustration and the influence of published imagery on perceptions of race.
Article by Ann Manser
Photos courtesy of the Norman Rockwell Museum, UD Special Collections and Museums, Chris Hopkins, Loveis Wise
Published June 10, 2022