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veritasHarvard University Library Notes, For Harvard Library Staff, Number 1340 November 2007

Harvard University Library Notes / November 2007 / No. 1340


Little Lulu Lights Up the Schlesinger

Little Lulu

Marjorie Henderson Buell's Little Lulu visits the public library in the comic strip above. Buell's work—signed, simply, "Marge"—is featured in a Schlesinger Library exhbition that continues through March 29.


The papers of Marjorie Henderson Buell—known as "Marge" to Little Lulu's millions of fans—now live at Radcliffe's Schlesinger Library, thanks to the generosity of her sons, Lawrence Buell, the Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature at Harvard, and Frederick Buell, professor of English at Queens College, City University of New York.

An exhibit of selections from the "Marge" collection includes early drawings and illustrations from Buell's teenage years through her early published works from Life Magazine, Colliers, and The Saturday Evening Post, including her syndicated strips, "The Boy Friend" and "Steaming Youth," which capture the zeitgeist of the Roaring Twenties.

Buell, who was born in 1904 and grew up in Philadelphia, was the first woman cartoonist to achieve worldwide fame as well as commercial success. Moreover, she kept the rights to the Little Lulu character from its inception in 1935 until 1972, when she retired.

Meanwhile, Buell presided over a merchandising empire that included Little Lulu dolls, lunch boxes, clothing, toys, puzzles, and candy, some of which are included in the exhibit.

The exhibit, which opened on October 9, runs through March 29, 2008, and will be on view in the Schlesinger Library's first-floor exhibit area during regular library hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 9:30 am to 5 pm; Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30 am to 10 pm; and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.

 

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