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Darger’s Seven Vivian Girls

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Betwixt-and-between denotes an intermediate position, neither this nor that. Violet Mary Joice Jennie Evangeline Daisy Hettie Catherine

It’s an apt phrase for describing Henry Darger’s Vivian girls and the thousands of others in his make-believe world that exist in magical and contradictory states. (cat. 20) Top: At Jennie Richee, After the Raid (detail) mid-20th century Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Watercolor and pencil on paper, 24 x 108 in. Collection of Robert A. Roth ©John Faier Right: Henry Darger, c. 1970 Photo by David Berglund

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Curated by Leisa Rundquist

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art www.art.org

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April 12 through September 4, 2017

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Essay by Leisa Rundquist

Betwixt-and-between denotes an intermediate position, neither this nor that. It’s an apt phrase for describing Henry Darger’s Vivian girls and the thousands of others in his make-believe world that exist in magical and contradictory states.

(cat. 9) At Wickey Lansinia. Are Placed in a Death House (details) c. 1940-1950 Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Mixed media on paper, 28½ x 57 in. Collection of Robert A. Roth © John Faier

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Darger positions these little girls somewhere between male and female, both biologically and socially. The Vivian girls’ ambiguous gender and shifting anatomy speak broadly, and with rich complexity, to American culture’s polarizing constructions of child/adult and male/female. Darger plays with these polarities and fabricates an extraordinary

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Visually, this plucky band of seven sisters (Violet Mary, age 9½; Joice, age 10; Jennie, age 10; Evangeline, age 9; Daisy, age 7; Hettie, age 8; and Catherine, age 7) are appropriated from popular images of childhood from early to mid-20th century American coloring books, comic strips and clothing advertisements. Darger, however, complicates their seemingly cute and innocent bodies with hand-drawn additions of male genitalia—a

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characteristic of girls in Darger’s fictional world that remains unexplained. The Vivian girls’ intersexual nature and frequent nudity is certainly one of the most significant, yet puzzling, aspects of Darger’s art. Indeed, ambiguously-gendered and-sexed childhood runs like an open secret throughout the lush landscapes that accompany In the Realms of the Unreal, Darger’s epic narrative of mysterious splendor and savagery.1 Curiously, the artist does not explain, or even mention, intersexed bodies or sexual hybridity in his narrative and captions. His prose, instead, insists upon the beauty, purity and whole-

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child beyond nature—capable of defeating bloodthirsty Glandelinians on one hand and rebelling against conventional girlhood on the other.

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(cats. 16 + 17) Untitled, mid-20th century Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Illustration with pencil markings; carbon tracing with pencil on paper, 9½ in. x 5½ in.; 11 x 8½ in. Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of Kiyoko Lerner 2003.7.13a-b Photo by Gavin Ashworth, courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum ©Kiyoko Lerner

As the before and after images of the traced Sears Roebuck fashion illustration demonstrate Darger extrudes his intersexed figures from representations of girls that populate mass culture’s advertisements, coloring books and comic strips. This example, a girl in a short jumper and roller skates, translates onto blue, faded paper as a nearly nude child, showing male as well as female characteristics, wearing only socks and shoes. The act of tracing—both of creation and adoption—allows Darger to generate a girl’s essential form and unlock secrets of Vivian girlhood latent in images from pop culture.

Tracing was one of Darger’s essential tools

By investigating the fluid transmissions between the spaces of artistic production, popular culture and religious veneration, my scholarship questions the reduction of

Darger’s art to pathologic production and psycho-biographical explanation.3 Betwixt-and-between follows this line of thought and opens possibilities for further discussion of Darger’s Vivians within a broad-ranging, less pejorative framework engaging the artist’s resources, writings and visual art. Gender and Sex in and out of In the Realms of the Unreal The notion of gender is historically understood in opposition to that of sex. While sex is assigned to biology (male/female), gender (masculine/feminine) is a matter of culture. In effect, gender operates as a set of learned behaviors that vary according to cultural norms and time periods. Today, gender is viewed as a more complex and nuanced interrelationship of one’s biology; selfidentity as male, female, both or neither; and one’s outward expression of gender. Gender is realized within a spectrum or continuum of possibilities. Accordingly, the definition of biological sex has also expanded to include a wider array of bodily characteristics encompassing “chromosome, hormones, internal and external reproductive organs, and secondary sex characteristics.”4 Gender and sex are no longer understood as aligned identities

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some integrity of the seven Vivians and the thousands of little girls populating his tale. Additionally, his imagery provides no indication that anatomical morphing disrupts these traits or that hybridity equates in any manner to corruption, sin or vice. This metamorphosis, rather, conforms to the Vivian naturally–without need for explanation or great spectacle in itself. Given the frequency and context of these situations, one can infer that this in-between morphology is meaningful and may align with Vivian traits of purity and virtue. Nevertheless, Darger’s penciled-in additions literally draw attention to sexual organs and, for some viewers, erotically charge the little girl body. Thus, this ambiguously-gendered girl has often led to questions pertaining to Darger’s sexuality (characterized as stunted or perverse)2 or his inability to comprehend anatomical differences between boys and girls. Both approaches selectively deny or downplay the multivalent potential of the Vivian body, a rich and effusive fictional representation.

(Continued on page 12.)

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Ambiguously–gendered, intersexed children are a common but mysterious sight in Darger’s art

Within Darger’s book, In the Realms of the Unreal, he frequently elects to depict girls in motion, often in perilous situations, naked or partially clothed. Using a few simple pencil marks, Darger fabricates a complex, fantastic intersexed child–a fearless and fluidly mutable figure.

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The frequency and context of these depictions suggest that gender and biological sex fluctuate, adapting as needed for the situation. These adaptations prove valuable, even necessary, for escaping danger, fighting the enemy and, eventually, saving the day.

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Untitled (3 studies), mid-20th century Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Graphite on found paper, 7 x 5½ in.; 8 x 11 in.; 10½ x 6 in. Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York gifts of Kiyoko Lerner, 2003.7.45a-c Photo Credit: Gavin Ashworth ©American Folk Art Museum / Art Resource NY

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(cats. 13, 14, + 15)

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Little girl bodies clump together and replicate like the

Posies, daffodils and daisies orient their multiple faces towards the foreground. Their centers, small and round, echo the shapes of polka dots, assorted buttons and wide-open eyes of children that look attentively out at the viewer.

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Some flowers are exaggeratedly large. Their gigantic appearance reinforces the diminutive scale of the little girls. A collage of pansy-passion flower-pansy on the skirts of three twisting and turning brunettes further connects the visual relationships between flora, girls and vitality. The whole scene merges into one densely-packed, mesmerizing and reverberating pattern of energy.

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flowers before them in this lush and verdant landscape

(cat. 12)

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Untitled, mid-20th century Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Watercolor, pencil, carbon tracing and collage pieced paper, 24 x 106½ in. Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York Museum purchase with funds generously provided by John and Margaret Robson, 2004.1.3B Photo Credit: James Prinz ŠAmerican Folk Art Museum / Art Resource NY

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He kept this copy of the 1932 newsletter of the Society of the Little Flower for decades. His devotion to this saint is further evident in his selection of two Vivian girl names (Violet and Daisy) and in the painting, At Angeline Agatha.

(cat. 23) Society of the Little Flower newsletter, 1932 10 3/8 x 7¼ in. Collection of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art Henry Darger Room Collection and Archive

St. Thérèse of Lisieux (French, 1873-1897, canonized 1925), the selfproclaimed Little Flower of Christ, is widely known by Catholics and adored due to her girlish innocence and humble written inspirations. These writings, The Little Way, use floral metaphors to urge one to remain little or childlike in order to please Christ.

Darger was devoted to St. Thérèse, the Little Flower of Christ following a binary concept of only two prescribed determinations, male or female.

re-inscribing and re-combining her body into a child of remarkable powers, beauty and wonder.

Darger’s art appears to embrace a non-binary vision of gender, even though he gleaned his imagery from conventional, gender/sex-conforming resources that reinstate mainstream society’s representations of girlhood. As the before and after images of this traced Sears Roebuck fashion illustration demonstrate (see page 6), Darger extrudes his figures, displaying intersexed characteristics from representations of girls that populate mass culture’s advertisements, coloring books and comic strips. This example, a girl in a short jumper and roller skates, translates onto blue, faded paper as a nearly nude, epicene child wearing only socks and shoes. The act of tracing—both of creation and adoption—allows Darger to generate a girl’s essential form and unlock secrets of Vivian girlhood latent in images from pop culture. Drawing instigates a literal exposure, a frank reveal of the openness and ambiguous potential of girl bodies. This process allows Darger to re-invent the image of the girl by

Vast amounts of ephemera collected and traced by the artist signal that Darger was keenly aware of society’s determination of girlhood and its commercial trappings. He replicated the petticoats, braided ponytails and Mary Jane shoes comprising attire for girls ages 7-12 and dressed the denizens of the In the Realms of the Unreal in the codes and conventions of the day that outwardly announced their age-appropriate femininity. But why choose girls as his main protagonists for his tale of insurrection and warfare? Several volumes into In the Realms of the Unreal, Darger makes his case for selecting girls by acknowledging common misconceptions about them and endorses his gender choice under the straightforward title, Why Little Girls are Heroines of this Story :

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Although, dear readers, in this big story, boys and men play usual and principal parts in the dreadful battles, and during the great war encounter many terrible adventures, by land, sea, fire, water, and so forth, the reason the story

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Juliette Gordon Low (1860-1927), affectionately known as Daisy, achieved notoriety as founder of the Girl Scouts of America (1912). Noting that Daisy Low was the daughter of a Confederate officer, biographers nicknamed her The Little Rebel. Self-reliant and resourceful, Low exemplified qualities she espoused for girls eager for outdoor experiences and skills previously taught to boys. In addition to gender-specific homemaking lessons, early Girl Scout manuals provided information on shooting guns, riding horses and surviving in the wild.

(cat. 4) Daisy Bell Gertrude Vivian c. 1940s Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Mixed media on paper, 18 x 14½ in. Collection of Robert A. Roth ©John Faier

The association between Daisy and precocious, rebellious girls is, perhaps, not coincidental on Darger’s part.

runs so much with little girls as the actual heroes in this warfare is because, under most circumstances, women are braver than men. I go to show that by putting little girls in this story as the real heroines, that little girls do and are brave enough, for a fact, to be able to play and show any amount of nerve and courage, full equal or moreso (sic) than boys or men or women who may take part in active warfare.5 According to Darger, girls possess a level of bravery equal to and even surpassing that of boys and adults. In the same passage, he mentions The Little Rebel as an exemplar of heroism. This six-year-old character of Edward Peple’s play was adapted for silent film in 1914 and later featured in a major Hollywood production, The Littlest Rebel (1935), starring Shirley Temple. In this film, Temple is the baby bell e of a Confederate officer who navigates plot twists regarding her mother’s death, the Union army’s

invasion of her family’s plantation and her father’s imprisonment. In the end of the story, Temple coquettishly negotiates her father’s release, sitting on Abraham Lincoln’s lap. She emerges as the heroine of the story, wielding her girlish charm to save the day. Shirley Temple, along with fictional characters such as Little Eva from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Little Nell from Charles Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop, among others, are prominent figures in Darger’s collection of children’s books and arguably serve as models for girlvirtue and bravery in the Realms story. Little Eva, in fact, is an actual character in Darger’s narrative. While society’s visual codes of gendered fashions remain in In the Realms of the Unreal, most representations of defrocked children resist gender and biological sex conformity. Interestingly, hair prevails as a consistent signifier of gender, while genital differences carry less (Continued on page 20.)

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(cat. 20) At Jennie Richee, After the Raid (details), n.d. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Watercolor and pencil on paper, 24 x 108 in. Collection of Robert A. Roth ©John Faier

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(cat. 20) At Jennie Richee, After the Raid (details), n.d. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Watercolor and pencil on paper, 24 x 108 in. Collection of Robert A. Roth ©John Faier

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(Fig. 1) Untitled (Shirley Temple) Digital print on photographic paper Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York Gift of Kiyoko Lerner, 2003.7.77 Photo by Adam Reich, courtesy American Folk Art Museum ©Kiyoko Lerner

specificity in determining the characteristics of girls and boys. Bouncy curls and flowing locks signify female. Short-cropped hair signifies male. Passages In the Realms of the Unreal narrative confirm this pattern. After donning boy’s clothes to hide her identity and escape imprisonment, Jennie Turmer asks Gertrude to cut her hair. Darger writes: “Now for the needed sacrifice,” said she as she stood before a looking glass, and shook down her silky abundance of golden curly hair.... Jennie turned to the glass, and the scissors glittered as one long lock after another was detached so that she wore now short bobbed hair. “There now, that will do.” she said, taking up a hair brush. “Now for a few fancy touches. There Gertrude, ain’t I a pretty young boy?.... And I must stamp and take long steps like a boy, and look saucy.” “Don’t exert yourself too much on that,” said Gertrude. “There is now and then sissy young boys who act like girls you know, and I think therefore it would be better and easier to act like a boy who is in the class of sissies.” 6 Acting like a boy who acts like a girl, Jennie sets out on her escape. In Darger’s imaginary world, performances of gender twist and turn on the child’s body as a tool for adaptation. The slippages of gender prove valuable,

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even necessary, for saving the day. The few boys that do appear within In the Realms of the Unreal maintain their short hairstyle and conforming genital designations. Little girls, on the other hand, possess loose, mutable forms. Girls with both girlish hairstyles and male genitals seem to never fully morph into boys. Gendered hair traits remain, even in this in-between state. Captions accompanying images of children with intersexed characteristics assert that we are looking at little girls. While his written words do not speak of this obvious transformation, Darger’s verbose imagery indicates that these children fluctuate between girl and girlish, exhibiting a sense of continuance–a becoming–without a final transformative endpoint. In the Realms of the Unreal procures vitality through flux, an excessive metamorphosis comprising perpetual changes, boundary crossings and the surprise encounters of incongruous elements. Metamorphosis, according to literary historians, is “the defining dynamic of certain kinds of stories – myths and wonder tales, fairy stories and magic realist novels.”7 Mutable gender and biological transformations in Darger’s In the Realms of the Unreal evoke a similar, metamorphic narrative that guides shape-shifting child bodies in L. Frank Baum’s Marvelous Land of Oz (1904). Tip, the boy protagonist and orphan-adventurer, learns to his chagrin, that he

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was born a girl–the Princess Ozma–and must reverse a malevolent witch’s spell to reclaim his Emerald City. Tip prefers, instead, to stay a boy, so he can continue to roam the countryside with the Scarecrow and Tin Woodsman. After much cajoling from companions, he acquiesces, only under the condition that he tries being a girl “for awhile, just to see how it seems…. But if I don’t like being a girl you must promise to change me into a boy again.”8 Owning a complete, first edition set of Baum’s famous Oz series, Darger emulates the magical sparkle of this otherworldly place within his own In the Realms of the Unreal. Darger, like Baum, never completely assigns specific sexual biology or gender to one child or the other. Gender and sex, rather, operate as enchantment, subject to playful morphologies suggesting supernatural power. As Darger reminds us, girls are braver than boys; they physically dominate and overpopulate the In the Realms of the Unreal. Irrepressible girls, vivid and palpable through their omnipresent, multiplying and morphing bodies, represent a new world order in Darger’s In the Realms of the Unreal. The liminality of the girl’s body and her fecundity effectively embody the powerful nature of the garden in which she revels. Without doubt, the Vivian girl carries the life, vitality and flux of Darger’s unreality. Footnotes 1. The full title of Henry Darger’s life-long project is The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion (unpublished, c. 1911-1939). Its narrative describes, in encyclopedic detail, holy wars between practitioners of child slavery—the God-less, satanic nation of Glandelinia—and the Catholic kingdoms under Angelinia. In this mythic saga, the Vivian girls become the catalyst for insurrection and subsequent liberation of thousands of child slaves. Along with this massive, written story (approximately 15,145 typed pages), Darger created a bewildering array of other writings, notations, scrapbooks and visual art.

About the Curator Leisa Rundquist specializes in modern and contemporary art and theory. Her research speaks to the intersections of childhood, religious piety, gender and race in the art of Henry Darger. New directions in her research explore curatorial strategies that construct the representation of marginalized artists and their artistic practices, specifically those categorized as self-taught and outsider. She received her bachelor’s in art history and master’s in American art history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her doctorate in modern and contemporary art from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Prior to graduate school, she was curator at the South Bend Art Museum (South Bend, Ind.) from 1990 to 2000 and a lecturer at Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, Ind.) from 1996-2000. While at the museum, she organized numerous temporary and permanent indoor exhibitions focusing on 19th and 20th century art of the United States as well as orchestrated a series of outdoor sculpture installations at the South Bend Regional Airport. Rundquist is associate professor at the University of North Carolina, Asheville in the Department of Art and Art History. In addition, she acts as University Curator of Art Collections ensuring the care and interpretation of art on campus. and is an advisor for Curatoria, an interdisciplinary initiative to develop student-centered curatorial projects and promote community engagement. Rundquist was the recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Teaching in the Humanities Award.

2. See John MacGregor, Henry Darger: In the Realms of the Unreal (New York: Delano Greenidge Editions, 2002), 529 and 532. 3. See Leisa Rundquist, “Little Ways: Girlhood According to Henry Darger, Southeastern College Art Conference Review, Vol XV, No. 4 (2009): 434-447 and “Vivam! The Divine Intersexuality of Henry Darger’s Vivian Girl.” Elsewhere: The International Journal of Self-Taught and Outsider Art. No. 2 (May 2014): 24-42. 4. My definitions are drawn from Eli R. Green and Luca Maurer, The Teaching Transgender Toolkit: A Facilitator’s Guide to Increasing Knowledge, Decreasing Prejudice & Building Skills (Ithaca, NY: Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes: Out for Health) 2015 and the “GLAAD Media Reference Guide,” accessed March 18, 2017, www.glaad.org/reference. 5. Henry Darger, The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, Volume VI, (unpublished, c. 1911-1939), 262-263. 6. Quoted in MacGregor, 526. 7. Marina Warner, Fantastic Metamorphosis, Other Worlds: Ways of Telling the Self (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 18. 8. L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. 1904, 1985), 303.

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Henry Darger’s Collection at the American Folk Art Museum By Valérie Rousseau, Ph.D., curator, self-taught art and art brut, American Folk Art Museum

Henry Darger (1892–1973) stands as one of America’s greatest artists of the 20th century, represented in major private and museum collections. His distinctive art, which transcends categorization, has been influential to generations of artists. The American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) in New York became the largest public repository of Darger’s work – a unique and treasured collection, amassed from gifts and purchases beginning in 1995, that reveals the magnitude of his mastery of expression and the scope of his creative process.

This trove is comprised of his unpublished manuscripts : A five thousand-page autobiography (The History of My Life); A six-volume weather report journal (dated 1957 to 1967); A 15,145-page epic that echoes events of the American Civil War titled The Story of the Vivian Girls in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the GlandecoAngelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion (13 bound and unbound handwritten and typescript volumes, possibly written between 1911 and 1938-39); A large planning journal in which Darger kept track of thousands of characters, battles, deaths, and events related to the previous novel; and a manuscript titled Further Adventures in Chicago: Crazy House (sixteen bound and unbound volumes started in 1939).

AFAM’s substantial collection has been the subject of exponentially growing attention, generating countless scholarly studies, international collaborations with institutions and artists, and exhibitions at the museum– a 2018 presentation highlights intrinsic and structural aspects of Darger’s narratives.

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The collection also includes more than 60 artworks depicting scenes and figures mainly affiliated with the journey of the Vivian Girls, the seven princesses of Abbieannia. Among these are double-sided, scroll-like watercolors (which Darger had originally bounded into three large scrapbooks totaling more than three hundred sheets) and collages made of children’s books cuttings, newspapers fragments, and stamps. In addition, there are more than 100 studies and sketches, Darger’s visual and source materials, personal records, and the artist’s personal book library.

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Exhibition Catalog

01. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Angeline Celistine Vivian, c. 1940s Mixed media on paper, 17¼ x 15¼ in. Collection of Robert A. Roth 02. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Angeline Jenning, c. 1940s Mixed media on paper, 10 5/8 x 8½ in. Collection of Robert A. Roth 03. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Annabelle Aronberg Vivian, c. 1940s Mixed media on paper, 35½ x 31½ in. Collection of Robert A. Roth 04. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Daisy Bell Gertrude Vivian, c. 1940s Mixed media on paper, 18 x 14¼ in. Collection of Robert A. Roth 05. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Genevieve Annie Vivian (Hettie), c. 1940s Mixed media on paper, 16 x 14 in. Collection of Robert A. Roth 06. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Jennie Francis Vivian, c. 1940s Mixed media on paper, 24½ x 16¾ in. Collection of Robert A. Roth 07. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Joyce Vivian, c. 1940s Mixed media on paper, 18½ x 14½ in. Collection of Robert A. Roth 08. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Violet, Mary and Joice Vivian, c. 1940s Mixed media on paper, 26 x 30 in. Collection of Robert A. Roth 09. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) At Wickey Lasinia. Are Placed in a Death House, c. 1940-1950 Mixed media on paper, 28 x 57 in. Collection of Robert A. Roth 10. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Untitled, c. 1940-1950 Watercolor, carbon transfer, collage and pencil on pieced paper, 18 x 70 in. Collection of Robert A. Roth

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11. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) At Jennie Richee. They Refuse to tell where they had captured plans to General Phellinea Tamerline, c. 1970s Watercolor, pencil and carbon tracing on pieced paper, 28½ x 56 in. Collection of Tim Garvey 12. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Untitled, mid-20th century Watercolor, pencil, carbon tracing and collage on pieced paper, 24 x 106½ in. Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, Museum purchase with funds generously provided by John and Margaret Robson, 2004.1.3b 13. Henry Darger (1892–1973) Untitled (study), mid-20th century Graphite on found paper, 7 x 5½ in. Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York Gift of Kiyoko Lerner, 2003.7.45a 14. Henry Darger (1892–1973) Untitled (study), mid-20th century. Graphite on found paper, 8 x 11 in. Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York Gift of Kiyoko Lerner, 2003.7.45b 15. Henry Darger (1892–1973) Untitled (study), mid-20th century Graphite on found paper, 10½ x 6 in. Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York Gift of Kiyoko Lerner, 2003.7.45c 16. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Untitled, mid-20th century Altered illustrated fashion magazine page 9½ x 5½ in. Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York Gift of Kiyoko Lerner, 2003.7.13a 17. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Untitled (study), mid-20th century Graphite on paper, 11 x 8½ in. Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York Gift of Kiyoko Lerner, 2003.7.13b 18. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Untitled/Untitled, n.d. Watercolor, pencil and carbon transfer on paper, 24 x 110 in. Collection of Robert A. Roth

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Source Materials & Ephemera

19. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) At Battle Near McHollister Run, n.d. Watercolor and pencil on paper, 19 x 47¾ in. Collection of Robert A. Roth 20. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) At Jennie Richee, After the Raid, n.d. Watercolor and pencil on paper, 24 x 108 in. Collection of Robert A. Roth 21. Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Untitled (fragment), n.d. Mixed media, 10½ x 18½ in. Collection of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art Henry Darger Room Collection and Archive

22. “Girl, 11, Lies Under Porch Five Days” Chicago American newspaper, February 29, 1923 20¼ x 16 5/8 in. Collection of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Henry Darger Room Collection and Archive 23. Society of the Little Flower newsletter, 1932 10 3/8 x 7¼ in. Collection of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Henry Darger Room Collection and Archive 24. Modern Warfare political cartoon Unknown newspaper, June 7, 1942 8 3/8 x 7¾ in. Collection of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Henry Darger Room Collection and Archive 25. Jungle Jim comic strip clipping Unknown newspaper, c. 1945, 5 x 7 in. Collection of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Henry Darger Room Collection and Archive 26. Parents Magazine, June 1953 Open: 12 x 16 in. Collection of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Henry Darger Room Collection and Archive

28. Untitled (girl reading to doll and toys), n.d. Unknown newspaper, 5¼ x 3½ in. Collection of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Henry Darger Room Collection and Archive 29. Untitled (A Jean Cameron Feature), n.d. Unknown newspaper, 7 1/8 x 3¼ in. Collection of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Henry Darger Room Collection and Archive 30. Little Annie Roonie Contact print, 3¾ x 3 in. Collection of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Henry Darger Room Collection and Archive

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27. “The Diamond Hunters, Part 1,” by Marjorie Rankin Children’s Activities Magazine, March 1955 Open: 12 x 18 in. Collection of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Henry Darger Room Collection and Archive

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The Darger Room

Credits

In spring 2000, Intuit took possession of the contents of artist Henry Darger’s living and working space, which was located at 851 W. Webster Avenue in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

This catalog is produced in conjunction with the exhibition Betwixt-and-Between: Henry Darger’s Vivian Girls April 12 to September 4, 2017 Curated by Leisa Rundquist

Darger lived in one-room apartment until 1973 when he retired to a nursing facility. In his small room–which doubled as his studio and home for close to 40 years–he worked on a large number of painted and collaged drawings that illustrated the story of the Vivian Girls, created volumes of writings, and collected hundreds of objects (shoes, eyeglasses, balls of string, etc.). Opened in 2008, Intuit’s permanent exhibition of the Henry Darger Room Collection creates an environment that provides a window onto Darger’s world. The archive includes tracings, clippings from newspapers, magazines, comic books, cartoons, children’s books, coloring books, personal documents, and architectural elements, fixtures and furnishings from Darger’s original room. The installation symbolizes the stark contrasts that are so vividly portrayed in Darger’s vast and complex oeuvre. The contrast between the intimate scale of the room and the staggering volume of drawings, illustrations, writings and collections conveys vital information about Darger’s existence and the work he created.

©Copyright 2018 Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art All rights reserved. ISBN-13:978-0-9990010-6-6

No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording or otherwise without written permission from the publisher. All works by Henry Darger ©2019 Kiyoko Lerner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Special thanks to the American Folk Art Museum, New York for its generous loans of Henry Darger artworks and archives.

Many thanks to Kiyoko Lerner for her generous gift of the contents of Henry Darger’s room to Intuit.

Intuit thanks its many supporters, including the Alphawood Foundation Chicago, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, Crown Family Philanthropies, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Field Foundation of Illinois, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Ingenuity, the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, Maine Community Foundation, Polk Bros Foundation, and the Terra Foundation for American Art. Design

Trope Collaborative www.tropecollaborative.com

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Founded in 1991, Intuit is one of the premier museums in the world dedicated to presenting outsider art. Outsider art is created by artists who are motivated by their unique personal visions and demonstrate little or no influence from the mainstream art world. The museum’s mission–celebrating the power of outsider art–is grounded in the ethos that the instinct to create is universal and the arts must embrace, represent and be accessible to all, regardless of education level or socioeconomic status.

Cover: At Jennie Richee. They Refuse to tell where they had captured plans to General Phellinea Tamerline, c. 1970’s (detail) Henry Darger (American, 1892-1973) Watercolor, pencil and carbon tracing on pieced paper, 28½ x 56 in. Collection of Tim Garvey ©John Faier

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(Cat. 11)

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756 N Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60642 312.243.9088 www.art.org

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