The Secret Life of Women Pulp Artists

May 20, 2019 by

The sensational pulp magazines were illustrated by many legendary artists with colorful personalities. They often competed for free-lance assignments. Among the ranks of this pecking order there were exceptional women, such as Constance Bailey, Margaret Brundage, Dorothy Flack, Madge Geyer, Thelma Gooch, Alice Kirkpatrick, Zoe Mozert, Margery Stocking, Gloria Stoll Karn, Xena Wright, and Irene Zimmerman. These women defied social norms and pursued their own art careers in the male-dominated world of publishing.

Please join PulpFest 2019 on Friday, August 16, as we learn all about “The Secret Life of Women Pulp Artists.” Pulp art historian, David Saunders, will share biographical profiles of these cultural pioneers who worked beyond glass ceilings.

David Saunders is the son of pulp artist Norman Saunders, and is also a foremost scholar of American illustration art. His free public website, Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists, has over five-hundred biographical profiles of artists.He has also written artist biographies for ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE and several coffee-table books on pulp artists. To find out more, visit A New York artist, David’s own artworks have been exhibited worldwide and are collected by the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Additionally, David is the creator of the Munsey Award.

This year’s PulpFest will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(Irene Zimmerman — who used the pen-name Irene Endris — started her commercial art career during the 1920’s in newspapers and THE GOLDEN BOOK MAGAZINE. During the thirties, she began to draw pen and ink interior illustrations for Harry Donenfeld’s spicy pulp magazines. Zimmerman also painted covers for CRACK DETECTIVE, SPEED DETECTIVE, TEN DETECTIVE ACES — including the August 1946 number — and LIBERTY MAGAZINE.

Another woman pulp artist who David will discuss is Pittsburgh resident Gloria Stoll Karn.  The city’s public television station, WQED, recently released a documentary about five visual artists from Western Pennsylvania. Gloria Stoll Karn is one of the artists featured, sharing her work and stories about the rewards and challenges of being a woman in her field.

Entitled VISIBLE, the WQED documentary also features author and PulpFest member Heidi Ruby Miller. You’ll find a link to Gloria’s segment here and to the entire documentary here. PulpFest would like to thank the film’s producers, Anne Casper and Andrew Holman, for the opportunity to contribute to this wonderful project.)