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Posted on: July 12, 2021

Springfield Art Museum Announces Summer 2021 Focus Exhibitions

Rose O'Neill and the Kewpie Comics identity featuring several Kewpie figures


Springfield, MO. (July 12, 2021) – The Springfield Art Museum is pleased to present three focus exhibitions during the summer of 2021, all opening on Saturday, July 17. These focus exhibitions feature a range of themes and artists with local, regional, and international interest.

Rose O’Neill and the Kewpie Comics - The Kewpie doll was a much beloved elf-child created by illustrator Rose O'Neill. The Kewpie was introduced to the world in December 1909, in a cartoon published in the Ladies' Home Journal. From December 1917 to July 1918, O'Neill produced a Kewpie comic strip for Sunday newspapers, distributed by the McClure Syndicate. These comics reprised stories already featured in Woman’s Home Companion. Through the syndicate, the comic was published in newspapers across the country. 

This exhibition features 15 hand-colored proofs from the Sunday comic series, as well as an additional three proofs from the more modern format Kewpie comic strip, published in the 1930s. These works are pulled from the Museum’s permanent collection and were gifted to the Museum in 2018 by the O’Neill Family Foundation. Twelve of these works were conserved with funds raised by a Museum signature fundraising event, The 99 Times (99x) Party in 2019. O’Neill retired to Bonniebrook, her homestead located in Walnut Shade, Missouri and passed away in Springfield, Missouri in 1944.

Jacques Callot: Varie Figure - This special exhibition features work in the series Varie Figure, or Various Figures (1621-1628) by the pre-eminent French printmaker Jacques Callot. Callot is considered one of the most accomplished printmakers in the Western tradition. He was a keen observer of life and was one of the first artists to introduce the average person, or non-nobility, into his work. The series contains 16 works pulled from the Museum's permanent collection. It has been suggested that this series served as a drawing book or model for learning rapid, freehand drawing.

Shape, Form, and Color - This special exhibition explores three of the seven “elements of art” which outline the fundamental components of an artwork: Shape, Form, and Color, with a collection of 19 works including a painting by Deborah Weisel, the founder of the Springfield Art Museum. This exhibition is the seventh in a series, focusing on various artists, styles, and trends pulled exclusively from the Museum's outstanding collection of contemporary American watermedia. This exhibit was guest curated by Exhibitions Manager Cindy Quayle.

See all three focus exhibitions in our Eldredge, Spratlen, and Armstrong Galleries from July 17 through October 31, 2021. Financial assistance for these projects has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. The Springfield Art Museum is located at 1111 East Brookside Drive. Admission is always free. Donations are gratefully accepted.


The Springfield Art Museum is Springfield, Missouri’s oldest cultural institution, founded in 1928. A department of the City of Springfield, the Museum invites you to connect with the world, your community, and yourself through active engagement with art objects. For more information, please visit or contact Joshua Best, Museum Affairs Officer at (417) 874-2859 or

Upcoming Exhibitions
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