Jan 28, 2016 - Sale 2403

Sale 2403 - Lot 138A

Price Realized: $ 2,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
"What is This?" Mixed media on board. 381x508 mm; 15x20 inches. Illustration for the Dick and Jane series story in "Fun Wherever We Are," New York: Scott Foresman, 1965. Some printers' red pen and ink corrections and indications in margins. Formerly in the collection of a Directing Editor at Scott, Foresman & Co.

Additional Details

Seven editions of the "Dick and Jane" textbooks ran from 1930 to 1965. The widely used and popular schoolbooks featured stories about family and home life and included the well-known characters Dick, Jane, Sally, Spot, Puff and Tim - Sally's stuffed bear.
1965 marked the year of integration into public schools throughout the U.S., and, in response, the publisher of the series, Scott Foresman & Company, introduced an African-American family into the series which included the adolescent aged Mike, his twin sisters, Pam and Penny, and their parents. Interestingly, in 1963, ecclesiastical approval had been given for integrated readers and by 1964, Catholic Schools were using the modernized editions, one year before our public schools.
Despite this progress and Scott, Foresman & Co.'s socially responsible attempt to represent all children in the stories, simultaneous controversy grew over not only the new black family but also over the generally unrealistic characters and their "perfect" American family life. To lessen conflict, the publisher chose to hide the characters on the covers of books that were copywritten in 1965, replacing them with finger-paint art designs. By then, howerver, no resuscitation could save the series and it ceased publication shortly thereafter in 1965. See tagnwag.com/dick_and_jane_books.html.