Winifred Lubell papers, 1933-2003

A Finding Aid to the Winifred Lubell Papers, 1933-2003, in the Archives of American Art, by Susan Cary and Stephanie Ashley

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Table of Contents:

Biographical Information

Winifred Milius Lubell (1914-2012) was a prolific illustrator who worked primarily in the Massachusetts area. She is best known for her illustrations of a series of books by Dorothy Sterling, The Outer Lands, a natural history of Cape Cod.

Winifred Lubell was born in 1914 in New York City. She studied at the Art Students League in New York with George Grosz and other members of the League's faculty from 1933 to 1935. During the Great Depression, Lubell and her fellow students were encouraged by Grosz to go out into the city and document the plight of the homeless. In 1936 she began attending the Duncan Phillips Museum School in Washington D.C. She met and married textile expert and writer Cecil Lubell in 1939, with whom she shared an avid interest in mythology, psychology, linguistics and the history and visual styles of written languages. Together, they had two children David and Stephen.

After World War II Lubell began her long career as an illustrator. With her husband she created a series of children's books emphasizing natural history, animals, plants and ecosystems. Here Comes Daddy, appeared in 1945 with text and illustrations by Lubell. In 1994, Lubell published The Metamorphosis of Baubo, Myths of Woman's Sexual Energy which became an important resource for feminist scholarship. Her artwork can be found in the Rutgers Art Museum and the Kerlan collection in Minneapolis.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The papers of illustrator Winifred Lubell measure 1.8 linear feet and date from 1933 - 2003. The collection consists of 25 sketchbooks dating from 1933-1983, with original drawings and watercolors. There are copies of published books and unpublished manuscripts written and/or illustrated by Lubell. There are also loose ink drawings and a folio of drawings.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as 1 series:

Subjects and Names

This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following index terms:

  • Drawings
  • Illustrators--Massachusetts
  • Sketchbooks
  • Women artists


The Winifred Lubell papers were donated in 2003 by Winifred Milius Lubell.

Separated and Related Materials

Additional Winifred Lubbell papers are located at Rutgers University and the University of Minnesota.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was minimally processed by Susan Cary in 2004.

How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of original papers requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The collection is publication restricted by Winifred Lubell, until her death. Authorization to publish, quote or reproduce must be obtained from Winifred Lubell.

How to Cite this Collection

Winifred Lubell papers, 1933-2003. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Winifred Lubell Papers, 1933-2003
1.8 Linear feet; Boxes 1-3, OV 4

Box Folder
1 1 Depression Era Sketchbook 1, 1933
1 2 Depression Era Sketchook 2, 1934-1935
1 3 Depression Era Sketchook 3 and 4, 1936
Oversized Sketchbook 4 housed in Box 3.
1 4 Depression Era Sketchbook 5, 1937
1 5 For Spain and Liberty, Illustrated by Lubell and Others, 1937
1 6 Maine Sketchbook, 1949
1 7 Daily Journal about Ants, Summer and Sketchbook of Drawings for Tall Grass Zoo, 1955-1959
1 8 Sketchbook for "Night Flying Insects,," 1960s
1 9 Sketchbooks for Sketch Group, 1960s
(4 sketchbooks)
1 10 Sketchbook for "The Book of the Codde," July, Truro, Massachusetts, 1965
1 11 Sketchbook, Wellfleet "Images de la Vie Vegetale,," 1976-1981
1 12 Sketchbook of Provincetown figures, 1980
1 13 Sketchbook, September 1980-May 1982
1 14 Notebook/Sketchbook "Goddesses,," September 1983
1 15 Cadences: An Engagement Book for 1994, (Manuscript and Drawings), Poems and Lyrics by Sappho, 1994
Box Folder
2 1 The Battle of Frogs and Mice; Batracho-myomachia (an Ancient Greek Tale, 480 BCE by Anonymous), Transcribed and Illustrated by Winifred Lubell, 1996
2 2-3 Eve's Bag: An Illustrated Chronicle of Women and Their Purses (Manuscript and Drawings), Unpublished, circa 1998-2003
2 4 Sketchbook "Outerlands,," undated
2 5 The Goddess Image: Color Woodcuts and Collages by Winifred Lubell, undated
2 6 Sketchbook, Maine Landscapes, undated
Box Folder
3 1 Oversized Depression Era Sketchbook 4, 1937
3 2 Sketchbook, Summer, 1959
3 3 Early Research for The Metamporphosis of Baubo..., 1968
3 4 Goddess #2, 1984
3 5 Layout and Drawings for Eve's Bag, circa 1998-2003
(1 folio)
OV 4 Stockyard Scenes, 1939
(3 ink drawings)