Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Barbara Shermund Burial Fund

Here's a note from Caitlin McGurk, Associate Curator Assistant Professor at Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

Please consider giving what you can to the Barbara Shermund Burial Fund. Thanks.

Hi everyone -- 

I need your help to bury the remains of one of my favorite artists. Please read and share:

As many of you know, I have been researching Barbara Shermund, one of the first female cartoonists to be published by The New Yorker, for many years. Her life and career is the subject of a new exhibit I curated entitled "Tell Me A Story Where The Bad Girl Wins: The Life and Art of Barbara Shermund" for The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. In the course of my research of this long-forgotten and unheralded early feminist cartoonist, I learned something that completely broke my heart: after Barbara died and was cremated in New Jersey in 1978, no one ever claimed her remains. At the time of her death, The New York Times was on strike, and no obituary was ever published. This amazing woman, who created both cover art and hundreds upon hundreds of gorgeous and hilarious cartoons for The New Yorker, Esquire, Life, Colliers, etc., was forgotten in death by both family and the art world.

I have been working with Barbara's half-niece, Amanda, who was able to claim the cremains in 2013. We now have a plan for laying her to rest, which you can read more about on our GoFundMe page

When I think about why this whole thing matters so much to me, I keep coming back to the thought that this art Barbara put into the world is such a tremendous gift. It has touched me and made me laugh so many times. And it's rare that we ever get to thank an artist for the gift of their art in way that feels truly profound. Laying Barbara to rest feels, for me, like the least I can do as a fan and appreciator to say thank you. In my career, if there is one small mark I can leave, it would be bringing her work back to life.

I know everyone is strapped for cash around the holidays, but if you have some to spare now or in the new year, I hope you will consider donating. This means a whole lot to me. Thank you

The Barbara Shermund Burial Fund

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