Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Glen Ketchum

No document was found stating that the following woman was the cartoonist of Mayme the Manicurist, but based on the information below, I believe she was the artist of the cartoon panel. —Alex Jay

Glencora W. S. "Glen" Ketchum was born in St. Louis, Missouri on April 23, 1897, according to a May 1933 New York passenger list and the Social Security Death Index. She was the youngest of two daughters born to Marcellus and Adele, as recorded in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census; the family lived at 2221 Fan Avenue in St. Louis.

Information about her art training was found in the periodical, AB Bookman's Weekly, Volume 78, 1986, on page 2019, Olive Beaupré Miller's Legacy: 'My Book House' by Dorothy Loring Taylor. Taylor wrote about some of the illustrators who contributed to the childrens' book series, My Book House, and assumed Ketchum was male. Taylor wrote, "…Many of Glen Ketchum's illustrations can be found in volumes I-III. He attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and, from 1906 to 1908, the Art Institute [of Chicago] day school…" (I have doubts about the years Taylor gave for Ketchum's time at the Art Institute as she would have started at the age of nine. If ten years is added to the dates, 1916 to 1918, Ketchum's age would have been 19, in her first year, which seems more likely.)

In 1910, her mother was the head of the household at 3011 Eads Avenue in St. Louis. Ketchum was a student at Washington University in St. Louis according to a 1912 university catalogue. Taylor said, "…in 1919 and again in 1925 he attended the [Art Institute of Chicago] evening division, studying etching."

Ketchum was a lodger in Chicago at 434 Arlington Place during the 1920 census. Her occupation was commercial artist in a studio. Volume one of My Book House was released that year by a Chicago publisher; she contributed spot illustrations for a number of nursery rhymes and illustrated four stories including Goldilocks and the Three Bears. A copy of the book can be downloaded at Google Books by searching these names together, "Glen Ketchum NC Wyeth".

In 1930 Ketchum lived with her mother in Minneapolis, Minnesota at 2919 West 43rd Street. Her occupation was artist, and the cartoon panel, Mayme the Manicurist, appeared that year. The date of her move to the New York City area is not known. On May 21, 1933 she returned from a trip to Naples. A New York passenger list gave her address as "38 Wine St. Larchmont, N.Y.", a suburb north of New York City. It's possible she attended Pratt Institute in the early 1930s. A few years later she was married to Franco Maresca.

A May 1940 passenger list recorded her and her children, a 4-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy, on their return from Genoa. The list had the same address as the one in the 1930 census. Later in the 1940s Glen Ketchum Maresca became a teacher and settled in Stratford, Connecticut (Teachers College Record: Volume 46, 1945). The date of her husband's death is not known. Both of their children married in the 1960s.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts website has a listing for Ketchum at Clara, Database of Women Artists; her medium was painting in watercolor, oil, and for frescoes.

She passed away in Darien, Connecticut on May 26, 1982, according to the Connecticut Death Index, and was buried at Friedens Cemetery in St. Louis, according to the website, Headstones at Friedens Cemetery.

Addendum ... we received this note from a relative:

I am Glen's daughter. I would like to correct some facts.
The St.Louis info is correct.
Pratt info wrong...she attended Pratt 1915-1916 (her name is in Student Bulletin Vol.XIV. Jan 14,1916....published weekly....with a note in her handwriting saying something like finally I made it !...and a prize named )

Later she did attend the Art  Institute in Chicago. She was a free lance artist whose fashion illustrations included Marshall Fields.  She had her studio on the top floor of a building on the Loop

In Minneapolis she was following the commercial art career and writing /illustrating a society
Column featuring fashion. Also belonged to a group of professional artists called The Attic Artist.  I think. Mame was born....It was a daily....I have a number of them clipped and saved.
I have a copy of a letter (May1,1930) from WAMPAS.  It suggests there was interest in using Mame as a way to  promote interest in movie stars thru " reading their palms". Also a contract  
With an agent(January 28,1930 ) Alfred M. Loewethal, Chicago.   I believe I have found some of those illustrations.  
She lived at 4200 Xerxes Ave S Minneapolis in 1930. Advanced Student Minneapolis School of Fine Art.  1930-1931. Won the Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Traveling Scholarship in 1931.
Ended up in Sorrento and studied fresco painting.   
While there she met my father, Franco Maresca, the director of a luxury hotel in northern Italy.

They married,  my brother and I were born.   War was coming and the 3 of us " escaped" (think Winds of War).


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