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Perske: Pencil Portraits 1971-1990 [Paperback]

By Robert Perske (Author)
Our Price $ 18.70  
Retail Value $ 22.00  
You Save $ 3.30  (15%)  
Item Number 152590  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   119
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.34" Width: 9.28" Height: 0.52"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 1998
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN  0687050804  
EAN  9780687050802  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Drawings by Martha Perske; introduction by Robert Perske This hardcover book features pencil drawings of persons with disabilities have appeared in books, on postage stamps, in magazines, and in reports commissioned by the United States government and the Queen of England. Her illustrations stand out because she presents a rare, refreshing view of both a person's disability and beauty. MARTHA PERSKE has illustrated several Abingdon books, including "New Life in the Neighborhood, Hope for the Families", and "Circles of Friends". She designed the International Year of Disabled Persons commemorative stamp in 1981 and was one of the illustrators for Marlo Thomas' bestseller "Free to Be...a Family". She lives with her husband, author Robert Perske, in Darien, Connecticut.

Publishers Description
This hardcover book features pencil drawings by renowned artist Martha Perske. Martha's pencil drawings of persons with disabilities have appeared in books, on postage stamps, in magazines, and in reports commissioned by the United States government and the Queen of England. Her illustrations stand out because she presents a rare, refreshing view of both a person's disability and beauty.

Buy Perske: Pencil Portraits 1971-1990 by Robert Perske from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780687050802 & 0687050804

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Come see the beauty of the human spirit  Oct 11, 1999
You must have this book in your permanent collection. The beauty of the human spirit is captured by Martha Perske with a divine skill. If this collection of children with disabilities does not touch your heart - check your pulse to see if its still working. This book is for any parent who truly loves their children, for any grandparent who shares the world with other grandparents in their pride of parenting of all Gods children.

Jerry Fink

When you look through Martha's eyes, you are blessed.  Sep 22, 1999
I admit up front that my review is a bit biased, because Martha and I have been friends for more than 50 years. But this book, showing some of her very early sketches, lets you watch her talent mature, until when you look at the later drawings, you think they must be black and white photographs. Her ability to capture the beauty of these children (and adults) with disabilities is truly a gift from God. Her husband, Bob, captures the essence of Martha in his foreward, and when you read Martha's words about her father, you will begin to understand the depth of this woman. I have many wonderful memories of times spent with Martha and her parents, and know that the love and support she received from them helped her to develop into the woman she became.

In collaboration with her husband, several wonderful books have been published dealing with the many problems of people with disabilities, both from the viewpoint of their parents and carekeepers, and from the disabled themselves. Enough good things cannot be said about their collaborative efforts. But if you simply appreciate an extraordinary artistic talent, Pencil Portraits is a must.

In October, Martha will be receiving yet another in a long list of honors. She will be honored as an Outstanding Alum of our high school, Topeka High. Certainly not as noteworthy as some of her many other honors, but more special to me.

A pencil in the hands of an artist  Sep 21, 1999
A pencil.

In my hand it makes numbers and scribbles letters that often even I cannot fathom. In the hand of Martha Perske it creates miracles that can melt even an icy heart. In this new book from Abingdon Press, we see a collection of her artwork depicting persons who have disabilities over a twenty year period beginning in 1971. We see her bring the human essence of all of us into her illustrations with such warmth, joy and compassion that I marvel not only of her self-taught talent, but of her uncanny ability to see in our soul.

How to experience this book? How do you review a book you don't "read", except for the forwards by both Martha and her equally renowned partner and husband, Robert Perske. Do you view the book? Are warmed by it? Enveloped by it? I shared my copy with staff who were not brought up with the Perskes work and some were brought to tears by the unabashed joy radiated in Martha Perske's illustrations. Can a ten-minute read to complete a book touch such nerves? Yes, and her work has for many of us for more than twenty years. The book also shows the growth in her artistic talent during the span covered by the book, from a lighter touch to illustrations of such richness and depth that one can only marvel at her talent. What is unchanging during the 20 year period is her ability to capture the beauty, common humanity, and the shining light even in a person with the most severe disabilities.

I recommend this book to those in disability services who are familiar with Martha Perske's past work and, like me, have been sustained by the humanity in her illustrations when our advocacy might flag from weariness, from budget cuts, from administrative indifference that disadvantage those we serve. Her work is a tonic during those questioning moments. I also recommend this book for those who are not in disability services so they can understand, without a word being spoken, the common humanity within all human beings and the motivation behind our work .

I recommend this book to anyone with a bookshelf, a coffee table or for a friend during gift-giving time. Every member of my Board of Directors will receive one as a gift for their gift, their volunteer service.


Ed Goldman is the Executive Director of Solano Work Services, a vocational training and employment agency serving persons who have disabilities in Suisun, California. He has over thirty years experience as an advocate, government official and manager of services.

A warm & wonderful look at the REAL lives of REAL people...  Sep 10, 1999
PERSKE: Pencil Portraits 1971-1990

A Review by Dr. Denis W. Keyes (College of Charleston)

Martha Perske is a uniquely talented artist and her efforts throughout the years have produced beautiful and remarkably vivid images of real people living real lives. Martha is a self-taught yet utterly remarkable artist, whose engaging insights into the faces (read `souls') of the people she portrays can at once tug at the heartstrings while lifting the spirits of the viewer. Her husband, Bob Perske, is a gifted writer whose powerful prose shouts down the mediocrity of the silent majority, exposing a need or illuminating the plight of this defendant with mental retardation or that family with some related problems. This exceptionally talented couple can often be found wherever there is some question about justice and disabilities.

Bob Perske's gift is in his ability to tell true stories about the myriad injustices accompanying many of the lives of people with disabilities, and he does it in such a way as to educate, enlighten, move, frustrate, and sometimes even anger his readers. Yet, when Bob and Martha work together to produce joint projects, it is their ability to compliment each other's work that seems to tie it all together. For instance, Martha has illustrated Bob's numerous books for years, lending her artistic expertise to his linguistic skill, and the end product has always been impressive. The cover of his last text, *Deadly Innocence?* (1995, Abingdon Press), told the story (that was elaborated inside) of a man on Death Row who was clearly mentally retarded, and arguably not guilty. Such is the depth of Martha's gift: Her art tells a story that each viewer elaborates upon. This time, it is Martha's work that is being spotlighted: while Bob has written an introduction that emphasizes the subject matter at hand, that being portrayal of people with disabilities in pencil and paper. Perske: Pencil Portraits 1971-1990 (Abingdon Press, 1998) is the result of their latest collaboration, some twenty-seven years in the making. This time, Bob's contribution is short, but characteristically to the point. In his introduction, he outlines a brief history of his understanding and appreciation of Martha's talents and her mission. But Martha's contribution is not limited to her drawings; in a candid and moving essay, she describes her closest association to a person with a disability: her Father's recovery from a stroke that permanently paralyzed his right side.

An interesting aspect to note in these pictures is the progression of Martha's use of her talents as the years passed. The earliest pictures, signed merely "Martha," illustrate a more sketch-like quality, while later pictures take on a near photo-image realism that brings out the minutest details, physical and emotional, in the faces of her subjects. Even the simplest images take on an individual personality that those who have known these people with disabilities will instantly recognize. A picture of a child attempting to dial a rotary phone dial brings to mind the strong desire for individuality and independence, while the next page shows an occupational therapist assisting a child feed herself, graphically illustrating the fact that we cannot always do things on our own. Examples of such simple nuances abound in this book, as do fine illustrations that evoke joy and sorrow, awe and inspiration. The Special Olympics, social activities, and even a music lesson are among the scenes offered. If the Inclusionists movement is looking for a poster illustration, they may want to consider page 93, or perhaps page 111. There are even a few portraits of the people who are first in Martha's life. For example, anyone wondering what Bob and Martha looked like about twenty years ago should check out page 61.

Though she no longer draws the images that have won her acclaim, she is, nevertheless, still an artist. Despite talent that merited a special presentation of her work to the late Princess of Wales, Martha Perske does not present a proud persona. Her beauty is in her art and her life, both of which are captured in this beautiful book. And that is the reality of her art.

The book is sure to put a smile on your face.  May 29, 1999
I have enjoyed the drawings in Martha Perske's book Pencil Portraits 1971-1990. I would love to get larger prints of some of the drawings or prints (not bound in a book). Are they available? if so, where can they be purchased?

Write your own review about Perske: Pencil Portraits 1971-1990

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