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100 Sticks of Dynamite (Study of strangled girl with exposed organs) (2003.7.16)

 Item — Frame: 2003.7.16
Identifier: 2003.7.16

Scope and Contents

From the Series: This series contains a collection of Darger’s paper-based collaged imagery and portraiture, which often contains compositions made from of a multitude of news and magazine clippings, primarily of young girls and assorted religious imagery. The collages are often mounted on cardboard. Some are framed by a border of postage stamps, some contain inscriptions by Darger, and all are often covered by a glaze of glue or lacquer. The collages are commonly seen hanging in Darger’s apartment as documented in photographs of his studio and dwelling.

The series also includes photographic prints and enlargements made from selected clippings within the collection and their accompanying negatives. The series includes a large collection of images of little girls, many of which come from news stories about children who have suffered unfortunate circumstances (malnutrition, kidnapping, war). Images also include a significant amount of “Annie Rooney” enlargements (three boxes: one 15 x 11.5 x 3”, and two 12.5 x 9.5 x 3"); photographic enlargements of weather imagery (clouds, tornadoes); butterflies and butterfly wings; flora and fauna; and characters with horns. Photographic enlargements are often accompanied by printed envelopes from Darger’s local drugstores. Envelopes in the collection contain notations to himself, presumably about how he intended to use the imagery in his artwork, and instructions for the photo lab when duplicating his selected clippings.

The series also includes Darger’s traced transfer drawings, often created from the photographic enlargements. The collection holds more than five hundred sketches and studies (tracings) in ink and pencil. The tracings range in size from a few inches square to 20 to 24", and are drawn on tracing, typing, wax, and drawing paper. Images include butterflies, butterfly wings, horns, figures of young girls (clothed and unclothed), flora, fauna, clouds, and assorted architectural details. Darger’s use of large flowers and palm trees in landscapes, figures, architectural details, and weather imagery echoes numerous advertisements in magazines and newspapers, and clippings from coloring and comic books held with the source material.


  • Majority of material found within 1909 - 1965

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. Material in the collection may be restricted because of the physical condition of the material, the number of material requested, the purpose of the access, and the sensitivity of the archival material's contents. See series level descriptions for more detailed information on restrictions.


1 sheet(s) : 12 x 7 1/2"

Language of Materials



Repository Details

Part of the American Folk Art Museum Archives Repository