The One Rose: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Rose O'Neill: The 50th Anniversary Celebration Exhibition program, Fall 2023

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In celebration of Sordoni Art Gallery’s 50th anniversary, the gallery honored the work of Wilkes-Barre native, Rose O’Neill (1874–1944), artist, illustrator, sculptor, poet, novelist, suffragist, and entrepreneur. Exhibition ran from August 25th-October 8th, 2023.

O’Neill (1874–1944), an American illustrator of the early 20th century, was a woman of many accomplishments — published poet, novelist and activist for women’s suffrage. She is considered the first female comic artist and was the first woman illustrator for Puck magazine, the leading men’s magazine of the late-19th century, entertaining its readers with considerable satire and political commentary.

Kewpie dolls, based on comic strip characters O’Neill created, gained international popularity, served as the face of major advertising campaigns and appeared on a variety of household goods. O’Neill became the first woman to earn over a million dollars, and her $1.4 million fortune would be equivalent to more than $36 million today.

An accomplished artist and sculptor of Sweet Monsters, her work was featured in exhibitions in Paris and New York. O’Neill was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2019. The One Rose celebrates the life and career of this Wilkes-Barre artist who was born just streets away from where the gallery is today.




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