Marjorie Organ was born in Ireland on 3 December 1886, the daughter of a wallpaper designer. Her family moved to New York c. 1895, and Marjorie attended Saint Joseph's School and the Normal College (later Hunter College) before studying at Dan McCarthy's National School of Caricature. In 1902, at the age of 16, she joined the staff of the New York Evening Journal, working in the paper's art room with Richard Outcault, Rudolph Dirks and Paul Bransom. She was regarded as something of a "maverick" by the social mores of the day, making no objection to the older men's salty humour.
She created "Little Reggie and the Heavenly Twins", a strip about a hapless little man strung along by a pair of beautiful but manipulative girls, which ran in the Journal from 27 October 1902 to 3 February 1905. It has been suggested that Organ herself and her best friend Helen Marie Walsh, who married Rudolph Dirks, may have been the inspiration for the "Twins". She also created "The Wrangle Sisters", about a pair of young socialites, which ran in the Journal from 8 December 1904 to 7 January 1905, and several others for the Journal and the New York World, including "Strange What a Difference a Mere Man Makes!", "Girls Will Be Girls", "The Man Haters' Club" and "Lady Bountiful".
In 1908, when she was a student of the New York School of Art, she met the head of the school, the widowed painter Robert Henri. Three weeks later they married in Connecticut. Her career as a cartoonist ended, but she continued to paint and draw, exhibiting at the 1913 Armory Show in New York City, the Society of Independent Artists (1919-24, 26-28), the McDowell Club (1917-18), the New York Society of Women Artists (1927, 1932), the Morton Gallery (1928) and others, and managed her husband's business and social life. Henri painted a portrait of her in 1910, "O in Black with Scarf". She died of cancer in July 1930.
References[edit | edit source]
- Sarah Burns, American Women Modernists: The Legacy of Robert Henri, 1910-1945, Rutgers University Press, 2005, p. 202
- Betsy Fahlman, "The art spirit in the classroom: educating the modern woman artist", in Marian Wardle (ed.), American women modernists: the legacy of Robert Henri, 1910-1945, pp. 93-115
- Allan Holtz, Obscurity of the Day: Little Reggie and the Heavenly Twins, Stripper's Guide, 7 December 2010
- Allan Holtz, Obscurity of the Day: The Wrangle Sisters, Stripper's Guide, 2 September 2011
- Alex Jay, News of Yore: Dan McCarthy's School, Stripper's Guide, 9 January 2012
- Bennard B. Perlman, Robert Henri: His Life and Art, Courier Dover Publications, 1991, pp. 85-87, 137
- Sir John Wyndham Pope-Hennessy, The Robert Lehman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987, p. 178
- "Robert Henri weds a pupil", New York Times, 7 June 1908
- Marjorie Organ Henri at Findagrave
- Updates 9, The Comic Strip Project