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This is the first time Duval’s work has been seen in the United States for over 140 years and is being hosted at The Society of Illustrators in New York.

The exhibition, entitled Marie Duval: Laughter in the First Age of Leisure and The Marie Duval Archive ( have been produced by the University of Chester and Central Saint Martins, in partnership with Guildhall Library and with the support of the British Library and the London Library, made possible by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK.

Dr Simon Grennan, Leading Research Fellow at the University of Chester and an internationally acclaimed contemporary artist, comics scholar and author of over 40 comics and artists’ books, is one of the curators of the exhibition. He said: "After touring to Berlin and London, our exhibition of Marie Duval's work at The Society of Illustrators, New York, is really the cherry on the cake, for our project to make her work visible to contemporary audiences.

“The exhibition accompanies The Marie Duval Archive (, a free online image archive of her known work, a gorgeous picture book and a forthcoming academic book that puts her work in context. Duval published work in the United States in the 1870s, and so this exhibition marks something of a return for her, after 140-odd years!"

Duval drew under a number of male and female pseudonyms and her work appeared in a variety of cheap British penny papers, albums and books of the 1860s, 1870s and 1880s. An actress as well as a cartoonist, she lived and worked in a London environment of music halls and unlicensed theatres, sensational plays, serials, novels and comic journals. Her drawing style was theatrical, untutored and introduced many techniques that only became common in much later cartooning.

Anelle Miller, Executive Director of The Society of Illustrators, added: "This is a beautiful show. We are getting some incredible feedback."

The exhibition is on view until March 4 at The Society of Illustrators, 128 East 63rd Street, New York 10065 USA.

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