Research at MGHL

The materials at the Modern Graphic History Library serve a diverse research interest. Since the start of 2016, MGHL has already a number of distinct research requests. Materials have been pulled from numerous collections, some of which include the Al Parker, Chwast, Firecracker Press, Robert Andrew Parker, Robert Weaver, and the Walt Reed Illustration Archive. We have been busy showing materials to classes in addition to fulfilling reference requests and individual research appointments.


Items pulled for researcher Fred Lynch

 One researcher in particular, Fred Lynch, traveled to St. Louis from the Rhode Island School of Design to view the original artwork of Robert Weaver. Lynch is an Associate Professor at RISD and was interested in viewing original works of art as a way to inform his students. He was interested not only in technique but the style of journalistic sketching that takes place outside of the walls of the studio. Robert Weaver is a good example of this style as he had sketchbooks full of drawings that were created at the scene rather than in the studio. Lynch’s request to view items from the Robert Weaver Collection evolved into viewing several distinct collections, all of which contained original art, at MGHL as a way to study the different methods of specific illustrators


Original art from the Robert Weaver Collection

 Lynch sampled a number of collections at MGHL while visiting over a two-day period. He studied original works that varied greatly in style and medium. Lynch was interested in seeing as much as he could in the short time that he was here. On his last day, he requested to see original works by F.R. Gruger, which were housed in the Walt Reed Collection. Lynch viewed a sample of Gruger’s artwork, which seemed to be of particular interest due to his striking compositions. Lynch seemed was particularly fascinated by the work of FR. Gruger, which you can read more about on his blog.


Original work by F.R. Gruger from the Walt Reed Illustration Archive

 Lynch’s short time at MGHL was spent viewing as much original material as possible. He was consumed with jotting down notes, sketching, and photographing items that interested him. He talked about the invaluable experience of being able to handle original material, which allowed him to study the context of the piece as well as the craftsmanship of the artwork itself. Lynch was kind enough to let us share a glimpse his perspectives and observations from his time on campus. We love hosting researchers and classes that are interested in viewing the collections. Please contact Skye Lacerte if you are interested in scheduling a visit or would like to know more MGHL.


MGHL Reading Room at West Campus

About the author

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