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Comment: EX-LIBRARY COPY WITH POSSIBLE STAMPS ON TEXT BLOCK/INSIDE. STICKER ON SPINE. A "good" library's text may be in very good shape, but bumped down due to stamps. Some creasing, bending, staining possible. Shelf/reader wear likely.
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The Story of Rose O'Neill: An Autobiography Hardcover – May 15, 1997

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

This memoir by the creator of the once popular Kewpie figure lacks the literary strength to raise it above a mere curiosity. Until the advent of Mickey Mouse, the elfin Kewpies (`` `baby talk' for Cupid'') were, as one merchandiser told her, ``the greatest success . . . in the history of toys.'' Introduced by illustrator O'Neill in 1909, they appeared in magazines for decades, generating goodwill and spawning books, dolls, clubs, even leading one periodical to declare a need for a ``Religion of the Kewpies.'' Agreeably androgynous and unconventional, they reflected their creator's interests. A respected writer and artist, she often investigated the melding of male and female identities in her works--all the while maintaining her mainstream position as America's leading female illustrator. Such variety, plus two marriages, role-reversing parents, and a wayfaring life, could constitute a fascinating life story. However, in aiming, as the editor (a historian at the University of Missouri, Kansas City) says, ``to dissolve the boundaries between male and female form'' by fusing linear male narrative with personal female observations, O'Neill produced an autobiography that makes for an interesting experiment but not an absorbing experience. There's not enough about family and artistic development here, and the text is burdened with too much antique reportage (``Booth and Louisa took Harry and me to Pierrefonds'' and the like). Wealthy and famous, O'Neill retired to the Ozarks in the 1930s. Florid writing and lack of drama rule out a popular readership, though as a record of the artistic concerns of a distinctive woman and shaper of popular sensibilities, it may be useful for historians. (15 illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From the Back Cover

To most of us, Rose O'Neill is best known as the creator of the Kewpie doll, perhaps the most widely known character in American culture until Mickey Mouse. Prior to O'Neill's success as a doll designer, however, she already had earned a reputation as one of the best-known female commercial illustrators. Her numerous illustrations appeared in America's leading periodicals, including Life, Harper's Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan. While highly successful in the commercial world, Rose O'Neill was also known among intellectuals and artists for her contributions to the fine arts and humanities. In the early 1920s, her more serious works of art were exhibited in galleries in Paris and New York City. In addition, she published a book of poetry and four novels. Yet who was Rose Cecil O'Neill? Over the course of the twentieth century, Rose O'Neill has captured the attention of journalists, collectors, fans, and scholars who have disagreed over whether she was a sentimentalist or a cultural critic. In these memoirs, O'Neill reveals herself as a woman who preferred art, activism, and adventure to motherhood and marriage. Featuring photographs from the O'Neill family collection, The Story of Rose O'Neill fully reveals the ways in which she pushed at the boundaries of her generation's definitions of gender in an effort to create new liberating forms.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: University of Missouri (May 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826211062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826211064
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rose O'Neill was a household name in her long lasting hey-day, yet somehow managed to die in an obscure part of the Ozarks,alone and forgotten. A brilliant draughtsman,portraitist and humorist ,it was O'Neill's sad paradoxical fate to be known for her Kewpie creations as well as condemned to try and repeat their success over and over. Dr.Brunell's sensitive presentation of O'Neill's own words beautifully reveal the vibrant personality who enchanted the world with her unique personality as well as her artistic gifts.
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Format: Hardcover
While this book is not a great literary work, it is a wonderful resource for the Rose O'Neill enthusiast. I found it to be the most comprehensive record of Rose O'Neill's life I have read to date. In her own words, Rose describes her upbringing in an extremely unconventional household by a mother and father, both well-read and educated, with a mutual interest in the arts. Her father wanted to make an "experiment" of her regarding her education and along with reading classic literature, listening to Irish stories of fairies and little people, he always provided her with sharp pencils and plenty of paper on which to draw.
Extensive information is provided on Rose's life including her first trip from New York to the family's new home at Bonniebrook, in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, her marriages and her struggles to make the first Kewpie dolls.
After reading this book it is easy to understand why Rose became the woman and artist that she was. It covers her formative years, beginning her career as an illustrator at a very early age, to her novels, poetry, sculpture, and serious art.
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