The Graphic Arts collection is extremely fortunate to have received a donation of 187 original drawings by William Steig (1907-2003) from the Steig Family estate. These include cartoons for the New Yorker, drawings for his children’s and adult books, and some work that has never been published.
In his obituary, the New York Times noted that William Steig “graduated from high school when he was 15, and studied for two years at City College in New York, three years at the National Academy of Design and five days at Yale.” Art critic Sarah Boxer went on to note that “in the mid-1930’s, Mr. Steig began making ”symbolic drawings,” pen-and-ink works expressing states of mind. Like the poems of E. E. Cummings, they were subconscious excursions rendered on paper. When these drawings came out, nobody had seen anything quite like them.”
Steig sold his first drawing to the New Yorker in 1930 and has contributed more than 1600 cartoons to the magazine. His work joins drawings by other great New Yorker cartoonist in our collection, such as Henry Martin, Whitney Darrow Jr., George Booth, and many others. Our library also holds twenty-two books of his wonderful drawings, including Grown-Ups Get To Do All the Driving, Rejected Lovers, Agony in the Kindergarten, and of course, Shrek!
We are sincerely grateful to Ms. Jeanne Steig and the administrators of the estate for their generosity and assistance in making the donation possible. Please note that Ms. Steig is also a marvelous artist. See an interview at: http://fnewsmagazine.com/wp/2009/11/interview-with-jeanne-steig/