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Marjorie Flack Illustrations and other material

Identifier: Ax 867

Scope and Contents note

Most of Marjorie Flack's drawings are black and white. She used a combination of pencil, ink, paint and crayon on illustration board in order to achieve the effect she desired. A few illustrations are colored with watercolor or tempera, and sometimes colored paper was used for extensive background areas.

In addition to original illustrations for many of the early Flack books, the collection contains thirteen of her sketchbooks, plus a number of individual sketches and drawings. The sketches include studies of some of the characters and topics which appear in her published works. There are also a few works by other artists and illustrators, some of which are inscribed either to Marjorie Flack or to her second husband, William Rose Benet.

The collection does contain a small selection of personal materials such as several letters, two story fragments (including one by daughter Hilma Larsson), photographs and posters. Two of the posters were designed by William Rose Benet. But the highlight of the collection is its fine selection of original illustrations and sketches by this noted children's book illustrator.


  • 1928-1947


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

Marjorie Flack, beloved author-illustrator of books for young children, was born in Greenport, Long Island in 1897. She began drawing as a child and pursued her formal art education at the Art Students League in New York City. While in New York, she met and married the artist Karl Larsson in 1919, and had a daughter, Hilma, by him. Both Karl and Hilma Larsson have collaborated with Ms. Flack on illustrations for some of her books. Later, in 1941, Ms. Flack Married William Rose Benet, the poet, whose name appears frequently in the Flack collection materials.

Ms. Flack's first book, Taktuk, an Arctic Boy, was written with her friend Helen Lomen and published in 1928. Some of the original illustrations for this book are included in the Flack collection.

In 1930, the first of the well-known "Angus" stories was published. (Angus was a Scotch terrier, who involved himself in a number of scrapes and/or experiences with other animals and people.) Ms. Flack has stated that she drew heavily on personal experience for many of her stories. The "Angus" stories are all based on real events and real animals. Ask Mr. Bear is the written version of a story Ms. Flack told her daughter when she was growing up. Wait for William and What to do about Molly are based in Rockport, Massachusetts, which was Ms. Flack's summer home for many years.


4 linear feet (5 containers)

Language of Materials



Collection comprises mostly artwork associated with children's book author and illustrator Marjorie Flack, including 13 sketchbooks, book illustrations, and works of other artists. The earliest dated Flack work is from 1907. Book illustrations include those for Angus and the Cat; Ask Mr. Bear; Wait for William; and Taktuk, an Arctic Boy. Some other artists represented by original works are William Rose Benét, Harrison Cady, and Stow Wengenroth. There are Harper's magazine posters, various World War II posters, a few letters, a story file including a 3-page story by Flack's daughter Hilma Larsson, a photograph file, and miscellaneous maps, diplomas, and pamphlets.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series: Book illustrationsSketches and miscellaneous artworkWorks of other artistsPersonal materials

Other Finding Aids note

Paper finding aid with additional information available in Special Collections & University Archives.

Processing Information note

Collection processed by Cheryl Rolfe.

Guide to the Marjorie Flack Illustrations and Other Material
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Finding aid prepared by processing staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA