"Gosh, Mr. Sheldon, give me a little time to rest up from my vacation."

Barbara Shermund was a female cartoonist, and an early contributor to The New Yorker magazine, from 1926 to 1944. Her cartoons centering around beautiful, independent women later appeared in other magazines, most notably Pictorial Review, for which she made the feature 'Shermund's Sallies' (1944-1957).

Early life and career
Born in 1899 in San Francisco, California, Shermund was the daughter of an architect and a sculptor. After studying at the California School of Fine Arts, she headed to New York City, living an itinerant lifestyle in the city and upstate in Woodstock, New York, frequently travelling abroad. She never had a studio, preferring to work on a kitchen table sketching on large pieces of watercolor paper.

The New Yorker
Shermund was one of a group of innovative cartoonists at The New Yorker under editor Harold Ross. Her first cartoon appeared in this magazine in January 1926, 11 months after the magazine's debut. She would go on to publish nearly 600 cartoons and eight covers in the magazine. Her work was centered on tall, angular, independent women who often expressed pointed feminist sentiments, and men were often absent or the target of the joke.

Due to changing popular sentiments and an abrasive new art director at The New Yorker, James Geraghty, Shermund's work became less outspokenly feminist and increasingly reliant on hired gag writers for jokes and settings. She was published less frequently until her cartoons finally stopped appearing in The New Yorker in 1944. 

Shermund's Sallies
She became a frequent contributor to the men's magazine Esquire and produced a regular feature, 'Shermund's Sallies', in William Randolph Hearst's magazine Pictorial Review from 13 August 1944 to 2 June 1957. It was also syndicated through King Features. Her cartoons also appeared in Collier's, Life, and Photoplay (illustrating the series 'Miracle Men at Work to Make You Lovelier' in 1939).

Final years and death
In 1950, she, Hilda Terry and Edwina Dumm became the first women inducted into the National Cartoonists Society after Terry wrote a protest letter about the lack of female members. Towards the end of her life, Shermund settled on the shore in Sea Bright, New Jersey and died in 1978 in the Ivy House Nursing Home in Middletown Township, New Jersey.

Series and books by Barbara Shermund in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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