Paperback edition

Paperback edition

Sharp and original, this book should alter how readers look at the world.
— Kirkus

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Hardcover edition

Hardcover edition

Visual Intelligence

How could looking at Monet’s water lily paintings help save your company millions? How can checking out people’s footwear foil a terrorist attack? How can your choice of adjective win an argument, calm your kid, or catch a thief? 

Packed with big ideas and practical tips for any reader, fascinating research and provocative anecdotes, VISUAL INTELLIGENCE is a leadership book that instills confidence and enhances communication skills by using great works of art to reteach people from all walks of life how to see.

VISUAL INTELLIGENCE delivers these lessons using startling, sumptuous, and often times unnerving works of art. Images of famous paintings, photographs, and sculptures are used as tools for gathering, evaluating, and incorporating multiple perspectives that result in more effective and inclusive decision making for anyone.

VISUAL INTELLIGENCE teaches how using the same methods art historians employ to study a painting can be applied to any scene or situation in life: in the boardroom or the classroom, on the factory floor or the playground, at a crime scene or a shopping mall. Using biological data and the latest in social science studies, Herman shows that when people become inured to familiar situations, they stop seeking out nuances, and then start losing the ability to see them at all. Herman demonstrates how stepping outside of the familiar--which art analysis is for most people—can re-engage all five senses and renew a sense of inquiry toward everything.

By studying how a single miscommunicated word can mess up a cappuccino order, a million dollar contract, or a murder investigation, readers will learn how to get it right. Herman shows that anyone can uncover the secrets, skills, and solutions that have been hiding in plain sight, and use them to transform our households, businesses, communities, and our lives.




“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