Rose O'Neill

The Kewpie Lady
Some Rose O'Neill drawings in magazines.

Some Rose O'Neill drawings in magazines.

Kewpies don't seem to appeal to the modern sensibility. We're not sure why; what's not to like about a cute little creature with wings and a curly top-knot who does kindly, helpful things? True, they are usually naked, but so what? Not an X-rated kind of naked, just a baby kind of naked.

Anyway, when they were created by Rose O'Neill, in the early 20th century, they were very popular. in fact, they were the most widely know 'cartoon' characters, until Mickey Mouse. We have a drawer full of the magazine pages on which they appeared and we like them.

Rose O'Neill was an interesting woman. She was an independent thinker, an advocate of women's rights and very beautiful. She was born in Nebraska, but became a popular member of the artistic community in New York in the 1910s. She was at one point in that period the best known and highest paid female illustrator in the United States.

Rose O'Neill

Rose O'Neill

A Women's Suffrage Poster by Rose O'Neill

A Women's Suffrage Poster by Rose O'Neill

She did not only paint or draw kewpies. She was in fact a skilled draftswoman and created lovely images, especially of women and children. This drawing is priced for sale at $42,000, so I guess her work is still valued!

A Colored Drawing Original by Rose O'Neill

A Colored Drawing Original by Rose O'Neill

Children by Rose O'Neill

Children by Rose O'Neill

Portrait of Kahlil Gibran by Rose O'Neill

Portrait of Kahlil Gibran by Rose O'Neill