Jeanne Bendick was born on February 25, 1919, in New York, New York. Her father was Louis Xerxes Garfunkel, an inventor and restaurant businessman, and her mother was Amelia Maurice Hess Garfunkel, the daughter of French immigrants. Bendick attended the New York High School of Arts and Music, and graduated from Parsons School of Design with a B.A. degree in 1939. Because she was attending school during the Depression, she illustrated a children's magazine called Jack and Jill and taught a children's art class on the weekends, in order to help pay for her tuition. After her graduation, she was awarded a scholarship to study in Paris for a year. But with World War II raging in Europe, she decided against leaving home.
Bendick was most inspired by her maternal grandfather, an artist who spent many hours teaching her to draw. On many Sundays he also took her to the American Museum of Natural History. "Grandpa Charley was my hero," she once said, "a scholar and an artist, gentle, patient, full of humor, and endlessly generous with his time." Through these early experiences, Bendick conceived a lifelong interest in science and the desire to illuminate it for young readers.
An author and/or illustrator of over one hundred books, Bendick is particularly noted for her comprehensive research, clear text, and simple illustrations; her work reflects her ability to hold a reader's interest even when elucidating a complex principle or invention. Much of what she has written clarifies the areas of television, movies, time, shapes, numbers, ecology, astronomy, heredity, and science history, urging in her readers a basic understanding followed by the curiosity to learn more.
On November 24, 1940, she married Robert Bendick, a photographer who became one of the first three cameramen at the emerging CBS-TV network. This connection enabled her to work in the television field as a story editor and scriptwriter for series such as NBC-TV's The First Look from 1965-1966, and Giant Step, 1968, as well as a segment for ABC-TV's 20/20 titled "Evolution/Creation." During World War II, both Bendick and her husband offered their services full-time; he enlisted in the Army Air Forces, she joined the American Women's Voluntary Services. They continued to work jointly on projects even when he was away.
Bendick has commented, "One part of the job I set for myself is to make those young readers see that everything is connected to everything-that science isn't something apart. It's a part of everyday life. It has been that way since the beginning. The things the earliest scientists learned were the building blocks for those who came after. Sometimes they accepted earlier ideas. Sometimes they questioned them and challenged them. I want to involve readers directly in the text so they will ask themselves questions and try to answer them. If they can't answer, that's not really important... Questions are more important than answers... If I were a fairy godmother, my gift to every child would be curiosity."
(Source: Gale Literary Databases. "Jeanne Bendick." Contemporary Authors. 13 Nov. 2002. 12 July 2005.
The Jeanne Bendick papers consist of original illustrations for twenty-six books; manuscripts for eleven books; correspondence from 1966 -1977; and numerous drafts, page proofs, galleys, dummies, etc. The collection also includes drafts of the Ginn Science Program's 1968 filmstrip series, and the Learning Experiences Series.
Manuscripts include The Consumer's Catalog of Economy and Ecology; D iscovering Cycles, by Glen Blough; The Human Senses, Measuring, Motion and Gravity, and Adaptation from the series Science Experiences; The Mystery of the Loch Ness Monster; Names, Sets, and Numbers; A Place to Live; Starting Points; What Things Are; Electronics for Young People; Filming Works Like This; Finding out About Jobs: TV Reporting; Heat and Temperature; How Much Space do Some Things Take Up?; How to Make a Cloud; Mathematics Illustrated Dictionary; Mrs. Magellan's Yard; and What to Do.
Illustrations are for the Science Experiences' Adaptation; The Human Senses; Living Things; Measuring; Motion and Gravity; Shapes; and Space and Time. Also included are illustrations for After the Sun Goes Down; Discovering Cycles; The Emergency Book; Look-out for the Forest; Mathematics Without Numbers (formerly titled Take Shapes, Lines, and Letters); The Mystery of the Loch Ness Monster; Names, Sets, and Numbers; A Place to Live; Push-ups and Pinups; Solids, Liquids, Gases; Soon After September; Starting Points in Science; Take a Number; Tree on the Road; The Tree on the Road to Turntown; What Could You See?; The Wind; Why Can't I?; Young Scientist Takes a Walk; and a few miscellaneous illustrations.
Published works in the collection include the Ginn Science Education Program's field test editions of Animal Behavior; Astronomy; Atomic Model; Biological Change; Geology; Higher Animal; Higher Plant; Meteorology; Motion; and Oceanography.
Restrictions on Access :
Collection is open to the public.
Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.Restrictions on Use :
Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Manuscripts Librarian of the Division of Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.
Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.
Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.
If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.Preferred Citation :
[Identification of item], The Jeanne Bendick Papers, Ax 550, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.
Detailed Description of the Collection