The Fall VQ

(Ten-year-old Web site birthday week catch-up post, four of five.)

In the fall 2009 issue of the Quarterly—which shipped last October, I think—I had two pieces: the regular Vassar Yesterday department (which involved the great Luddistic joy of doing research on microfilm), and a short item about an alumna named Anne Cleveland, Vassar class of ’37.

Cleveland’s career is fascinating—I’m hoping that someone at some point writes a longer and more substantial article about her life and work. I think the story might be right up Joan Acocella’s alley, actually, since the tragedy of Cleveland’s career—early successes followed by difficulties in her personal life followed by a long silence—is not dissimilar from at least a few of the profiles in Twenty-eight Artists and Two Saints.

Some links: an obit: “Terrific cartoonist of 1950s fled from her talent,” The Oregonian, 21 April 2009; another obit, this one in Tom Spurgeon’s Comics Reporter: “Anne Cleveland, 1916–2009,” 25 March 2009; another post from a few years ago on the Comics Reporter site—part of a larger conversation about women comics artists, but it has some useful biographical details not included in full in the above obit: “Regarding Anne Cleveland…,” 19 May 2006; and a blog post from a couple of years ago by Shaenon Garrity, also a Vassar alumna (class of 2000): “Anne Cleveland’s Legacy at Vassar,” 29 August 2008.

I was very happy to get quotes for the piece from Liza Donnelly (Vassar professor, New Yorker cartoonist, and author, appropriately enough, of Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoonists and Their Cartoons) and from Cleveland’s son Toby White.