FULL OF GRACE
A Journey through the History of Childhood
Written and edited by Ray Merritt
FULL OF GRACE chronicles the evolution of the child in society during the last 150 years through text and photographic imagery in a fashion that has never been done before. The text explores the place of the child from the reign of Queen Victoria to today. The book is divided into five chronological chapters, each of which highlights significant moments in child development -- culturally as well as politically, exploring both advances and setbacks in the progress towards gaining and maintaining basic rights such as freedom of speech, health, protection and education. Areas such as child labor, child exploitation and the effects of intolerance, poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease and war are assessed. The book presents and celebrates the positive aspects of the advances in child development and welfare.
Art photography and the works of photojournalists were selected as the best way to illustrate and enhance the text. Photography was born during the Victorian reign and its development surprising parallels the ascent of child suffrage. Since the child often serves as a muse and subject of photography, it seems appropriate to use that medium for this work. The book consists of over 300 images and illustrations and approximately 100 pages of text. The net proceeds received from the book and exhibitions are contributed to UNICEF.
The Cygnet Foundation believes that now, perhaps more than ever before, the struggle to insure basic rights to children is the paramount issue facing humanity. Hopefully, a book of this scope and appeal will help awaken a heightened sensitivity towards children and strengthen the readers' understanding social and cultural rights of children.