Kewpies and Beyond
The World of Rose O'Neill
The life and times of the Kewpie doll and its fascinating socially conscious creator
A self-made woman with no formal art training, Rose O'Neill (1875-1944) was not only hugely financially successful through her illustration work and the production of Kewpie dolls, but also through her exhibited drawings and sculpture in solo shows in Paris and New York. Kewpie made her a famous figure commercially, but few recognize her today as a serious artist and a political subversive who expressed sympathy for minorities, suffragettes, and victims of intolerance and who struggled with her own expression in a male-dominated field.