Friday, July 31, 2020

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Unlocking: Memoir of Family and Art by Nancy L. Pressly

Unlocking: Memoir of Family and Art by Nancy L. Pressly
Unlocking: Memoir of Family and Art by Nancy L. Pressly 
 Publisher: She Writes Press (May 5, 2020) 
Category: Memoir 
Tour Dates June and July, 2020 
ISBN: 978-1631528620 
Available in Print and ebook, 
224 pages 
Unlocking by Nancy L. Pressly

Description Unlocking: Memoir of Family and Art by Nancy L. Pressly

While recovering from a near fatal illness, Nancy Pressly discovers a treasure trove of family material stored in her attic. Haunted by images of her grandparents and her parents in their youth, she sets out to create a family narrative before it is lost forever. It takes several more years before she summons the courage to reconstitute a path back to her own past, slowly pulling back the veil of amnesia that has, until now, all but obliterated her memory of her childhood. In this sensitive and forgiving meditation on the meaning of family, Pressly unravels family dynamics and life in a small rural town in the 1950s that so profoundly affected her?then moves forward in time, through to her adulthood. With an eye attuned to visual detail, she relates how she came into her own as a graduate student in the tumultuous sixties in New York; examines how she assumed the role of caretaker for her family as she negotiated with courage and resilience the many health setbacks, including her own battle with pancreatic-related cancer, that she and her husband encountered; and evokes her interior struggle as a mother as she slowly traverses the barriers of expectations, self-doubt, and evolving norms in the 1980s to embrace a remarkable life as a scholar, champion of contemporary art, and nationally recognized art museum strategic planning consultant. Full of candor and art-inspired insight, Unlocking leaves the reader with a deep appreciation of the power of art and empathy and the value of trying to understand one’s life journey.

Advance Praise Unlocking: Memoir of Family and Art by Nancy L. Pressly

“A wrenchingly honest account that deftly combines a marriage story and an art tour.”-Kirkus Reviews “In her searching and compassionate memoir, this keenly sensitive writer . . . tells how her own near-fatal illness allowed her to unlock her painfully lost girlhood with clear vision and empathy . . . . With Unlocking, she proves herself a woman of the deepest human insight.”-Kate Moses, author of Cakewalk, A Memoir and Wintering “Inspired by resilience and renewal, commitment and perseverance, love and trust—themes that are instantly relatable, Unlocking is an exquisite articulation of personal and professional stories, shared through the lens of someone who is deeply passionate about the connections between art and life.”-Allison Perkins, Executive Director, Reynolda House Museum of American Art “This is an unflinchingly honest memoir, written with the clarity and powerful visual sense of an art historian. Particularly vivid are the retrieval of [Pressly’s] childhood memories through letters, diaries, and photographs . . . . Her career as art historian, curator, and arts administrator offer fascinating insights. But above all, this is a memoir about her love of family and her own evolution as a person. Finishing it, you realize you have been privileged to get to know a remarkably gifted and indomitable spirit.”-Tom Dunne, author of Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize winner Rebellions: Memoir, Memory, and 1798

About Nancy L. Pressly

Unlocking : Memoir of Family and Art by Nancy L. Pressly(c)Atlanta Portrait Photography

Nancy L. Pressly, a graduate of Goucher College, received her master’s degree in Art History from Columbia University. She began her career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and subsequently held curatorial positions at the Yale Center for British Art and the San Antonio Museum of Art, where she organized several important exhibitions, most notably the acclaimed Fuseli Circle in Rome: Early Romantic Art of the 1770s.

In 1984 she became Assistant Director of the Museum Program at the National Endowment for the Arts; was a visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts during the fall of 1992; and in 1993 founded Nancy L. Pressly & Associates, a nationally recognized consulting firm specializing in strategic planning for art museums. She has authored numerous publications, most recently a book titled Settling the South Carolina Backcountry (2016.) She and her husband live in Atlanta, Georgia, close to their son and two grandchildren.

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Giveaway Unlocking: Memoir of Family and Art by Nancy L. Pressly

This giveaway is for 3 print copies open to the U.S. only. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends August 1, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.
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My Review: 

I thought Nancy L Pressly’s Unlocking: A Memoir of Family and Art to be a pretty good read. I found it to be inspiration of finding one self, where you came from, and what is important in life. This was definitely my kind of read. I am always looking for information about my own identity and family history. I loved the treasures the author discovered. What a beautiful find. I was fascinated from start to finish.

I am giving Unlocking: A Memoir of Family and Art five plus stars. I recommend this to readers who enjoy reading about other people, families, and history. I thought it was wonderful.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.


  1. Thank you for your kind review. I so gratified you enjoyed it so much.

  2. I am so glad you enjoyed 'Unlocking'!