Monday, April 25, 2011

Fums Up

Hard to beat the caption, so fums up it is. Yes, Lord Beaverbrook, the little figure here does resemble a Kewpie: the infamous cartoon-strip character (later made into a doll) created by the colorful Rose O'Neill in 1909.

O'Neill was a much-married American magazine illustrator who became a millionairess, thanks to the Kewpie craze. (The name is thought to be a variant on Cupid.) During the teens, O'Neill had a salon in Greenwich Village, where she was known as the 'Queen of Bohemian Society,' and agitated for women's suffrage. Something that doesn't make it onto her Wikipedia page: that besides works like The Kewpies and the Runaway Baby, she was also the author of The Master-Mistress, a collection of fairly overheated Sapphic verses. Later in life she retired to the Ozarks, where she dressed in a loose floor-length gown she called an 'aura.' Her Ozark neighbors--at least according to her biographer--called it a 'flyin’ squirrel dress,' on account of its floppy 'oriental' sleeves.

1 comment:

  1. And a fums up for this amusing post. In overheated honour of O'Neill I herewith dub the tatty smock (it's as old as the dinosaurs) I wear to work in my home-based office as 'The O'Neillyaura'.