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Medium
Image rights
© Eric Emo / Musée d'Art Moderne / Roger-Viollet © 2015 Kiyoko Lerner / ADAGP, Paris

Henry Darger, a self-taught artist, began working on his magnum opus, an epic work of literature replete with drawings, at the age of 19. The final work, known by the title The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, totaled over 15,000 single-spaced pages and 300 paintings as a manuscript. The work was based loosely on the events of the Civil War, but recast with children as emancipated heroes; it addressed issues of innocence, slavery, destruction, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Darger led a solitary and even reclusive life as a janitor in a Chicago hospital for the majority of his life. It was not until after his death that his artistic production was discovered.

Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2020
The Double-Sided Dominions of Henry DargerAndrew Edlin Gallery
2018
Outliers and American Vanguard ArtLos Angeles County Museum of Art
2015
Henry DargerMusée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
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Again running from forest flame (left), At Jennie Turner Vivian Girls being captured - Hanging scene (right), 1910-1970

Graphite pencil, watercolor and gouache on four sheets of vellum
Location
Paris
Medium
Image rights
© Eric Emo / Musée d'Art Moderne / Roger-Viollet © 2015 Kiyoko Lerner / ADAGP, Paris

Henry Darger, a self-taught artist, began working on his magnum opus, an epic work of literature replete with drawings, at the age of 19. The final work, known by the title The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, totaled over 15,000 single-spaced pages and 300 paintings as a manuscript. The work was based loosely on the events of the Civil War, but recast with children as emancipated heroes; it addressed issues of innocence, slavery, destruction, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Darger led a solitary and even reclusive life as a janitor in a Chicago hospital for the majority of his life. It was not until after his death that his artistic production was discovered.

Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works from Henry Darger
Other works by Henry Darger
Related works