“Sharp and original, this book should alter how readers look at the world. " —Kirkus
“This fascinating and beautifully illustrated book will make you see the world more clearly than you ever have before. And that clarity will transform how you deal with the challenges and opportunities you face every day.” — Leonard Mlodinow, author of Subliminal and The Drunkard’s Walk
How could looking at Monet’s water lily paintings help save a company millions? How can noticing people’s footwear foil a terrorist attack? How can your choice of adjective win an argument, calm your children, or catch a thief?
In her celebrated seminar, The Art of Perception, art historian Amy Herman has trained experts from many fields to perceive and communicate better. By showing people how to look closely at images, she helps them hone their “visual intelligence,” a set of skills we all possess but few of us know how to use effectively. She has spent more than a decade teaching doctors to observe patients instead of their charts, helping police officers separate facts from opinions when investigating a crime, and training professionals from the FBI, the State Department, Fortune 500 companies, and the military to recognize the most pertinent and useful information. Her lessons highlight far more than the physical objects you may be missing; they teach you how to recognize the talents, opportunities, and dangers that surround you every day. “Herman offers a compelling case for the life-enhancing value—and central importance—of careful observation . . . Visual Intelligence is a fascinating book and an important one—and it is a great read.” —Daniel Weiss, president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
About the Author
AMY E. HERMAN developed and conducts all sessions of The Art of Perception using the analysis of works of art to improve perception and communication. She leads the program nationally for a range of institutions including the New York City Police Department, the FBI, and the Department of Defense, as well as for leaders in education, finance, and policy. She holds an AB, a JD, and an MA in art history and lives in New York City.
“In converting her lectures to this fascinating book, Herman convincingly argues that closely analyzing works of art is an empowering exercise that translates to seeing the 'hidden' clues in many real-life scenarios. Perhaps most compelling are the author's descriptions of actual crime scenes that were only solved because someone noticed the right detail—a pair of inside-out pants, a whirling ceiling fan—when most people missed it. Yet despite her expert clientele, Herman amply demonstrates that tapping into an inner Sherlock Holmes isn't only a skill for investigators and that heightened observation is critical to communicating effectively, empathizing with others, and making informed decisions. With practice, she argues, everyone has an innate "visual intelligence" waiting to be refined. Sharp and original, this book should alter how readers look at the world."
“This fascinating and beautifully illustrated book will make you see the world more clearly than you ever have before. And that clarity will transform how you deal with the challenges and opportunities you face every day.”
—Leonard Mlodinow, author of Subliminal and The Drunkard’s Walk
“Amy Herman has transformed the way I look at art—and at the world. She shows us when to trust our instincts as observers and when to recognize that our instincts have gone astray. So much wisdom flows from those lessons, which are set forth clearly and convincingly in this book.”
—Professor Ari L. Goldman, Columbia University, author of The Search for God at Harvard and The Late Starters Orchestra.
“In her masterful new book, Amy Herman offers a compelling case for the life enhancing value—and central importance—of careful observation. Within these pages Herman teaches us how to be active and attentive observers, both within the confines of an art museum and well beyond. Visual Intelligence is a fascinating book, and an important one—and it is a great read.”
—Daniel Weiss, President, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Whether you are a seasoned criminal investigator or a medical professional, Amy Herman's Visual Intelligence is a must read. She engages us all to see more objectively, analyze intelligently and to articulate in greater detail. It will guide you to be a more critical observer of what is before you without making those inadvertent assumptions that may sabotage your work.”
—John J Sprague, Inspector, Commanding Officer, Force Investigation Division, NYPD