Hartfield, Ronne 1936-

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Hartfield, Ronne 1936-

PERSONAL: Born March 17, 1936, in Chicago, IL; daughter of John Drayton Rone and Thelma Shepherd; married Robert Hartfield; children: four. Education: University of Chicago, B.A., 1955, M.A., 1982.

ADDRESSES: Home—5750 S. Kenwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60637-1724.

CAREER: Public relations assistant for Chicago Children's Choir; Urban Gateways (arts education organization), member of staff, beginning 1969; School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, professor of comparative literature and dean of students, beginning 1974, and executive director for museum education, 1991-99. Instructor at Northwestern University and University of Illinois at Chicago. Consultant to Art Institute of Chicago, National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Office of Education, and National Institute for Museum and Library Services; member of numerous advisory boards, including American Council for the Arts, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Trustee for Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and Rhode Island School of Design.

MEMBER: International Council of Museums, American Association of Museums, ArtTable, Women's Board of the University of Chicago, Chicago Network, National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Arts Club of Chicago.

AWARDS, HONORS: Senior fellow, Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religion, 2001; Sidney Yates Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts; fellowships from Rockefeller Foundation, Goethe Institute, and Aspen Institute; travel fellowships to Japan, Mexico, South America, and Germany; Women Alive! honoree; Robert Maynard Hutchins Award for Distinction in Education, Chicago Historical Society; Best Nonfiction Books of 2004 selection, Chicago Tribune, for Another Way Home: The Tangled Roots of Race in One Chicago Family.


Another Way Home: The Tangled Roots of Race in One Chicago Family, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2004.

Contributor to books, including Encyclopedia of Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2004; and Stewards of the Sacred, American Association of Museums, 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Ronne Hartfield is internationally known as an expert in the field of arts education and administration. Her first published book, Another Way Home: The Tangled Roots of Race in One Chicago Family, relates some of her family history, and in so doing brings into focus many key events of American history. In the prologue to Another Way Home, Hartfield points out that there are few stories describing life for those of mixed racial heritage. Rather, people of mixed race are often portrayed as tragic or torn. Hartfield's book is very different, telling stories from her family history that stretch from the days of slavery and plantation life to the dawn of the civil rights era. The author's mother was the child of a wealthy British plantation owner and the daughter of a former slave. She moved in the complicated, caste-like social systems of Louisiana and, later, was part of the quadroon and octoroon society in New Orleans. She eventually moved to Chicago and lived in Bronzeville, considered the epicenter of black life in that city during the early twentieth century. She was light-skinned enough to pass for white, and did so in order to keep a good job; when she married a darker-skinned man, she lived in black neighborhoods where many assumed she was white. The family lived through the 1919 race riots, the Great Depression, and other key moments in American history. Jessica Reaves, a contributor to Chicago's Tribune Books, called Another Way Home "a warm, sometimes humorous and always unsparing look back." In the book Hartfield's mother emerges as a person of quiet strength and great dignity, according to Beth Kephart, another reviewer for Tribune Books. Kephart described Another Way Home as "graceful, intelligent, full-hearted and searching," and concluded that it "tells a personal story against the backdrop of a fairly reported social history. It celebrates goodness without being falsely sentimental."



Hartfield, Ronne, Another Way Home: The Tangled Roots of Race in One Chicago Family, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2004.


Booklist, October 1, 2004, Vanessa Bush, review of Another Way Home: The Tangled Roots of Race in One Chicago Family, p. 297.

Chicago Sun-Times, February 1, 2000, Becky Beaupre, "All Four Minority Women Quit Art Museum's Board," p. 9.

Jet, October 18, 2004, review of Another Way Home, p. 37.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), December 5, 2004, Jessica Reaves, review of Another Way Home, p. 1, Beth Kephart, review of Another Way Home, p. 5.

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