Go Back to School with Two New Exhibits from MGHL

It’s time to head back to school.  Let Modern Graphic History Library help you focus your attention back again on school life and school work with two new exhibits.


Illustration by Jessie Wilcox Smith for Good Housekeeping, September 1924.

At MGHL’s space at West Campus, there is an exhibit case featuring back to school artwork and fashion designs from early 20th century women’s magazines, including Delineator, Good Housekeeping, Ladies’ Home Journal and McCalls.

This Delineator article recommends fashions from Lord & Taylor that are perfect for college-bound women.


Fashion illustrations from Delineator, September 1929.

The middle outfit is listed as the “smartest” college combination: tweed and jersey.  The outfit to the left is recommended for college freshmen : a wool sweater with a brown wool skirt, brown leather jacket, and a brown felt beret.  The outfit to the right is a “rainy-day” outfit with a henna & black tweed suit with yellow sweater.   A felt hat and simulated suede raincoat are added to protect from the elements.

Don’t forget clothes for those weekend parties.  Delineator recommends this blue and silver brocaded wrap with a white fox collar.

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Fashion illustration from Delineator, September 1929.

Now that your fashions are set for the school year, it’s time to focus on research and homework.


By Robert Weaver, undated : part of the Race, Identity & Culture display.

Over at the Danforth Campus, MGHL’s second exhibit is in the display cases outside the Kranzberg Art & Architechture Library.  The exhibit highlights our image collection in relation to our three research guides : Women, Advertising, and Race, Identity, & Culture.  These guides provide suggestions for using visual imagery as source material in research.

The Women Display focuses on four different ways that women have depicted women through illustration: as Domestic Ideals, as Sexualized Objects, as Romantics, and as Confident Equals.

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by Edwin Georgi for The Peekaboo Blouse, McCalls, February 1948 :  part of the Women as Romantics display.

The Advertising Display shows three different topics that appear in advertisements in the early 20th century: Beauty, Style, and Homemaking.

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From Good Housekeeping, March 1953 : part of the Advertising Homemaking display.

The Race, Identity and Culture Display shows examples of how different races, cultures, and identities have been portrayed in advertisements and fiction illustrations from the 1900s to present day.

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From Delineator, August 1918 : part of the Race, Identity & Culture display.

All images in these cases are reproductions on poster board of the original artwork and tearsheets in our collection.  Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library is located on the Ground Floor of the Kemper Art Museum, and is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The original artwork and tearsheets may be viewed by visiting Modern Graphic History Library on the ground floor of West Campus.  MGHL is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

About the author

Andrea Degener is the Visual Materials Processing Archivist in the department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.