Guide to the Marjorie Flack Illustrations and Other Material

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Flack, Marjorie, 1897-1958
Title: Marjorie Flack Illustrations and Other Material
Dates: 1928-1947 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 4.0 linear feet (5 containers)
Collection Number: Ax 867
Summary: Collection comprises mostly artwork associated with children's book author and illustrator Marjorie Flack, including 13 sketchbooks, book illustrations, and works of other artists. The earliest dated Flack work is from 1907. Book illustrations include those for Angus and the Cat; Ask Mr. Bear; Wait for William; and Taktuk, an Arctic Boy. Some other artists represented by original works are William Rose Benét, Harrison Cady, and Stow Wengenroth. There are Harper's magazine posters, various World War II posters, a few letters, a story file including a 3-page story by Flack's daughter Hilma Larsson, a photograph file, and miscellaneous maps, diplomas, and pamphlets.
Repository: University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Contact Information: UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Marjorie Flack, beloved author-illustrator of books for young children, was born in Greenport, Long Island in 1897. She began drawing as a child and pursued her formal art education at the Art Students League in New York City. While in New York, she met and married the artist Karl Larsson in 1919, and had a daughter, Hilma, by him. Both Karl and Hilma Larsson have collaborated with Ms. Flack on illustrations for some of her books. Later, in 1941, Ms. Flack Married William Rose Benet, the poet, whose name appears frequently in the Flack collection materials.

Ms. Flack's first book, Taktuk, an Arctic Boy, was written with her friend Helen Lomen and published in 1928. Some of the original illustrations for this book are included in the Flack collection.

In 1930, the first of the well-known "Angus" stories was published. (Angus was a Scotch terrier, who involved himself in a number of scrapes and/or experiences with other animals and people.) Ms. Flack has stated that she drew heavily on personal experience for many of her stories. The "Angus" stories are all based on real events and real animals. Ask Mr. Bear is the written version of a story Ms. Flack told her daughter when she was growing up. Wait for William and What to do about Molly are based in Rockport, Massachusetts, which was Ms. Flack's summer home for many years.

Content Description

Most of Marjorie Flack's drawings are black and white. She used a combination of pencil, ink, paint and crayon on illustration board in order to achieve the effect she desired. A few illustrations are colored with watercolor or tempera, and sometimes colored paper was used for extensive background areas.

In addition to original illustrations for many of the early Flack books, the collection contains thirteen of her sketchbooks, plus a number of individual sketches and drawings. The sketches include studies of some of the characters and topics which appear in her published works. There are also a few works by other artists and illustrators, some of which are inscribed either to Marjorie Flack or to her second husband, William Rose Benet.

The collection does contain a small selection of personal materials such as several letters, two story fragments (including one by daughter Hilma Larsson), photographs and posters. Two of the posters were designed by William Rose Benet. But the highlight of the collection is its fine selection of original illustrations and sketches by this noted children's book illustrator.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Marjorie Flack Illustrations and Other Material, Ax 867, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Collection is organized into the following series:

  • Book illustrations
  • Sketches and miscellaneous artwork
  • Works of other artists
  • Personal materials

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by Cheryl Rolfe.

Additional Reference Guides :  

Paper finding aid with additional information available in Special Collections & University Archives.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Book illustrations
1 Angus and the cat. Garden City, New York, Doubleday, Doran, 1931 1931
1 Angus Lost. Garden City, New York, Doubleday, Doran, 1932 1932
2 Ask Mr. Bear. New York, Macmillan, 1932 1932
2 Humphrey: One hundred years along the wayside with a box turtle. Garden City, New York, Doubleday, Doran, 1934 1934
2 Taktuk, an Arctic Boy. By Helen Lomen and Marjorie Flack. Garden City, New York, Doubleday, Doran, 1928 1928
2 Tim Tadpole and the Great Bullfrog. Garden City, New York, Doubleday &Co., 1934 1934
2 Topsy. Garden City, New York, Doubleday &Co., 1935 (A Junior Book) 1935
2 Topsy and Angus and the cat. New York, Junior Literary Guild, 1935 1935
2 Wag-Tail-Bess. Garden City, New York, Doubleday &Co., 1933 1933
3 Wait for William. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1935 1935
3 What to do about Molly. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1936 1936
3 William and his Kitten. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1938 1938

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Sketches and miscellaneous artwork
3 Sketchbooks
3 Individual sketches and drawings
3 Watercolors
3 Unidentified pieces

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Works of other artists
3 Benet, William Rose
3 Cady, Harrison
3 Fisher, A. Hugh
3 Gebhardt
3 Halifax
3 Jacobsen, Norman
3 LeBoutellier, Addison L.
3 Little, K.D.
3 Perkins, Lucy Fitch
3 Stevens, L. Sterne
3 Taylor, Prentiss
3 Wengenroth, Stou

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Personal materials
4 Picture files
4 Posters
4 Letter file
4 Story file
4 Photograph file
4 Miscellaneous file

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  • Personal Names :
  • Benét, William Rose, 1886-1950
  • Cady, Harrison, 1877-1970
  • Flack, Marjorie, 1897-1958
  • Larsson, Hilma
  • Larsson, Karl
  • Lomen, Helen
  • Wengenroth, Stow, 1906-
  • Subject Terms :
  • Children's stories, American--Illustrations
  • Illustration of children's books--United States--20th century
  • Women illustrators--United States
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Book illustrations
    • Drawings
    • Sketchbooks

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