ONeill, Rose C.

1st American woman cartoonist, “Queen of Bohemian Society”, inspired song “Rose of Washington Square”

Price: $110.00

Description:
(1874-1944) American illustrator, created a popular period comic called “Kewpie”, from which came the popular “Kewpie dolls”. At 13, Rose won 1st prize in a children's drawing competition sponsored by the Omaha World-Herald. Within 2 years, she was doing illustrations for other periodicals with help from the Omaha World-Herald editor and the art director of Everybody Magazine, who judged the competition. In 1893, O'Neill's father took her to NYC stopping in Chicago to see the World Columbian Exposition where she saw large paintings and sculptures for the first time that she had only seen in books. Once in New York Rose was left on her own to live with the Sisters of St. Regis. The nuns accompanied her to various publishers to sell from her portfolio of 60 drawings. Soon she was an extremely popular illustrator and was being paid top dollar for her work. In the Sept. 19, 1896 issue of True Magazine, she became the 1st American women cartoonist with "The Old Subscriber" cartoon strip. She soon joined the staff of Puck magazine. O'Neill sent much of her paycheck home to her family in Missouri that helped them build a 14-room mansion called “Bonniebrook” which would become her home. O'Neill created the Kewpie characters she became popular for ca. 1907. The cartoon was instantly famous. In 1912 a German porcelain manufacturer started making Kewpie dolls, and she went to Germany to show the porcelain artists how to make the dolls the way she wanted them. Becoming known as the "Queen of Bohemian Society" O'Neill became a women's rights advocate. Her properties included Bonniebrook; an apartment in Washington Square in Greenwich Village that inspired the song “Rose of Washington Square”; Castle Carabas in Connecticut; and Villa Narcissus on the Isle of Capri, Italy. Considered one of the world's 5 most beautiful women, she made a fortune of $1.4 million, (approximately $15 million today). She learned sculpture at the hand of Auguste Rodin and had several exhibitions in Paris and the US. She held open salons in her Washington Square apartment where poets, actors, dancers and the 'great thinkers' of her day would gather. In 1937 O'Neill returned to Bonniebrook permanently. By the 1940s she lost most of her money and her beautiful homes. The Great Depression hurt her fortune. During that period O'Neill was dismayed to find that her work was no longer in demand. The Kewpie character phenomena, after 30 years of popularity, faded, and photography was replacing illustrating as a commercial vehicle. She became a prominent personality in the Branson, Missouri community, donating time and artwork to the School of the Ozarks at Point Lookout, Mo. She lectured at artist's workshops and continued to address women's groups to her death. Frameable 1 ¾ x 1 ½ cut “trademark” signature mounted to 2 ¾ x 3 ½ card; uncommon autograph!

Condition: Very good
Type:Signature






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