Djuna Barnes (American, 1892–1982), Sketch of a woman with hat, looking right, for "The Terrorists," New York Morning Telegraph Sunday Magazine, September 30, 1917. Ink on paper, 12 3/4 x 8 1/2 in. (32.4 x 21.6 cm). Djuna Barnes Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries
January 20–August 19, 2012
Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913–1919 is an exploration of the early journalistic career of American writer and women’s rights advocate Djuna Barnes. Though best known for her modernist novels and plays, including Nightwood (1936) and The Antiphon (1958), Barnes spent the period between 1913 and her departure for Europe in 1921 living in New York’s Greenwich Village and working as a writer and illustrator for publications including the Brooklyn Daily Eagle andVanity Fair. The product of an unconventional household, she developed an outsider’s perspective on “normal” life that served her as an artist, and a liberal sexuality that fit in perfectly with the bohemian lifestyle of Greenwich Village and, later, the lesbian expatriate community in Paris. She used journalism as a means to understand New York City’s people and places, and as an excuse to push boundaries and explore society’s margins. On view will be forty-five objects, including documentary photographs, drawings, works on paper, and Barnes’s stories in newsprint, including eight illustrations she composed to accompany her newspaper columns. Her work suggests a proto-feminist sensibility, emphasizing politics as something experienced on an individual, emotional level.
Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913–1919 is the latest exhibition in the Herstory Gallery of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, which is devoted to subjects that explore the significant contributions of the women named in Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party.
The exhibition was organized by Catherine Morris, Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum.
We gratefully acknowledge Beth M. Alvarez, former Curator of Literary Manuscripts, and the staff of Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, for their support for the planning and coordination of the exhibition.
This exhibition is made possible by the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation.