Almost everyone knows the image, but few know "the rest of the story." Warner Sallman's portrait of Jesus Christ is one of the most recognized paintings of the 20th century, indeed one of the most recognized images ever. The New York Times says, "the popularity of Sallman's 'Head of Christ' makes Warhol's 'Soup Can' seem downright obscure."
Produced in 1940, it was a marketing marvel. The image was put on clocks and calendars, funeral fans and Sunday school literature. By 1984 it had been reproduced more than half a billion times.
But its popularity also has led to controversy. While multitudes find it comforting, others now call it racist. It's been burned on the steps of the Capitol. Courts have ordered it removed from schools and public buildings.
Picture Perfect Jesus is a biography of this image. It answers two important questions: why was this image once so universally accepted and why is it no longer so? Narrated by Hal Holbrook, Picture Perfect Jesus is a documentary by award-winning producer Lyle Jackson.