Darger : The Henry Darger Collection at the American Folk Art Museum
About the book
Henry Darger, who died in 1973, was a secretive Chicago janitor who has since been recognised as one of the supreme self-taught artists of the 20th century. His work depicts a turbulent world of good and evil and often proves disturbing. This volume catalogues the American Folk Art Museum's recent acquisition of 37 Darger paintings.
Henry Darger Biography
Henry Joseph Darger Jr. (; April 12, 1892 – April 13, 1973) was an American writer, novelist and artist who worked as a hospital custodian in Chicago, Illinois. He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page fantasy novel manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor illustrations for the story.The visual subject matter of his work ranges from idyllic scenes in Edwardian interiors and tranquil flowered landscapes populated by children and fantastic creatures, to scenes of horrific terror and carnage depicting young children being tortured and massacred.: 106 Much of his artwork is mixed media with collage elements. Darger's artwork has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art.
LifeDarger was born on April 12, 1892, in Chicago, Illinois, to Henry Darger Sr. and Rosa Fullman.: 32–33 Cook County records show he was born at home, located at 350 W. 24th Street. When he was four years old, his mother died of puerperal fever after giving birth to a daughter, who was given up for adoption; Darger never knew his sister.: 36–37 One of his biographers, the art historian and psychologist John M. MacGregor, discovered that Rosa had two children before Henry, but did not discover their whereabouts.By Darger's own account, his father was kind and reassuring to him. Darger Sr. was a tailor with disabilities, and his poor health made caring for his son difficult. They lived together until 1900, when his father was taken to St. Augustine's Home for the Aged. Because of his apparent intellect, the young Darger had been enrolled in public school at the third grade level; after his father's hospitalization, Darger was moved to the Mission of Our Lady of Mercy, a Roman Catholic orphanage. After bad behavior, he was relocated to the Illinois Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children in Lincoln, Illinois, also called the Lincoln State School (today the Lincoln Developmental Center), with the diagnosis, according to Stephen Prokopoff, that "little Henry's heart is not in the right place". According to John MacGregor, the diagnosis was actually "self-abuse", a euphemism for masturbation.Darger himself felt that much of his problem was being able to see through adult lies and becoming a "smart-aleck" as a result, which often led to his being punished by teachers and ganged up on by classmates. He also felt compelled to make unusual noises. The Lincoln asylum's practices included forced child labor and severe punishments, which Darger would later seemingly incorporate into his writing. Darger later said that, to be fair, there were also "good times" at the asylum, he enjoyed some of the work, and he had friends as well as enemies. In 1908, Darger received word that his father had died in St. Augustine's Home for the Aged; Darger never had a chance to visit him ... Read full biography
|Authors:||Henry Darger American Folk Art Museum Brooke Davis Anderson|
|Imprint:||Harry N. Abrams, Inc.|
|Languages:||| English ||
|Illustrations:||illustrations, (some colour )|
|Publication date:||Jan. 30, 2002|
|First Publication Date:||None|
|Publication City/Country:||New York, United States|