It’s no secret that I am a big fan of romance novels. Thanks to Sam Kim and her eagle eye, I found out that there is a lovely little exhibit that I’m dying to share with you. Harlequin is celebrating their 60-year anniversary this year, and as part of the celebration has put together an exhibit displayed in downtown New York’s Openhouse Gallery that travels through the history of Harlequin cover art.
Through the years, the artwork on Harlequin books has gone from intricate individually painted stills influenced by Hollywood glamour on the once popular doctor and detective novels, to highly eroticized photographs on paranormal, historical, and contemporary stories. It is undeniable that the changes in the covers and content of the books mirror the many changes that have happened in society and in women’s lives over the past 60 years, whereas they often depicted women in submissive roles and professions, or in the throes of a tantalizing attack, nowadays they are often shown in in positions of equality and control.
One of the highlights of this exhibit is an interactive screen that allows you to place yourself into the cover of one of a dozen Harlequin book covers, that you can later retrieve and download from the Harlequin Celebrates website, where you can also download free e-books from a majority of the Harlequin lines. I obviously had to indulge myself, and you can see my results in the gallery below. In all, I think the artwork on Harlequin books stand on their own as interesting enough to warrant a visit to check out this free exhibit which will remain open until June 12th, but if you’re not in the New York area, you can check out some more pictures of it on the Openhouse Gallery blog.
Openhouse Gallery is located at 201 Mulberry St., NYC
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