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Henry Joseph Darger, Jr. (April 12(?), 1892–April 13, 1973) was a reclusive Americanmarker writer and artist who worked as a custodian in Chicago, Illinoismarker. He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story. Darger's work has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art.


Darger was born in Chicago, Illinoismarker in 1892. While he is believed to have been born on April 12, the exact date is debated. A record exists of his U.S. draft registration card, filled out on June 2, 1917 during the the First World War, which lists his birth date as April 17, 1892.

Cook County records show that he was born at his home, located at 350 W. 24th Street in Chicago. When he was four years old, his mother, Rosa Fullman, died after having given birth to a daughter, who was given up for adoption; Henry Darger never knew his sister. Darger's biographer, the art historian and psychologist John M. MacGregor, discovered that Rose had two children before Henry, but did not discover their whereabouts.

By Darger's own report, his father, Henry Sr., was kind and reassuring to him, and they lived together until 1900. In that year, the crippled and impoverished Darger Sr. had to be taken to live at St. Augustine's Catholic Mission home and his son was placed in a Catholic boys' home. Darger Sr. died in 1905, and his son was institutionalized in Lincoln, Illinoismarker, with the diagnosis, according to Stephen Prokopoff, that "Little Henry's heart is not in the right place." According to John MacGregor, the diagnosis was actually "self-abuse," which A. M. Holmes takes as a euphemism for masturbation, rather than as meaning self-injury.

Darger himself felt that much of his problem was being able to see through adult lies and becoming a smart-aleck as a result, which often left him beaten by nuns. He also went through a lengthy phase of feeling compelled to make strange noises (perhaps as a result of Tourette Syndrome, or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), which irritated others. The Lincoln asylum's practices included forced labor and severe punishments, which Darger seems to have worked into In the Realms of the Unreal. He later said that, to be fair, there were also good times there, he enjoyed some of the work, and he had friends as well as enemies. While he was there, he received word that his father had died. A series of attempted escapes ended successfully in 1908. According to his autobiography, he walked back to Chicago from the asylum for "feeble-minded children" in Lincoln, and it was on this journey that he witnessed a huge tornado that devastated the central Illinois area. He described it as "a wind convulsion of nature tremendous beyond all man's conception". There was a tornado that hit the eastern edge of Tampico, Illinoismarker, on Wednesday, November 25, 1908, at 7 p.m. Many barns, windmills and out buildings were turned over, smashed and demolished. Dwellings suffered a small amount of damage. No one was injured and no livestock killed. Tampico is located about 40 miles east-northeast of Moline and approximately 110 miles west of Chicago and 125 miles due north of Lincoln.

The 16-year old returned to Chicago and, with the help of his godmother, found menial employment in a Catholic hospital and in this fashion continued to support himself until his retirement in 1963.

Except for a brief stint in the U.S. Army during World War I, his life took on a pattern that seems to have varied little: he attended Catholic Mass daily, frequently returning for as many as five services; he collected and saved a bewildering array of trash from the streets. His dress was shabby although he attempted to keep his clothes clean and mended. He was largely solitary; his one close friend, William Shloder, was of like mind with Darger on the subject of protecting abused and neglected children, and the pair proposed founding a "Children's Protective Society," which would put such children up for adoption to loving families. Shloder left Chicago sometime in the mid-1930s, but he and Darger stayed in touch through letters until Shloder's death in 1959.

In 1930, Darger settled into a second-floor room on Chicago's North Side, at 851 W. Webster Avenue, in the Lincoln Parkmarker section of the city, near the DePaul Universitymarker campus. It was in this room, more than 40 years later, after his death in 1973, that Darger's extraordinary secret life was discovered.

Darger's landlords, Nathan and Kiyoko Lerner, came across his work shortly before his death, a day after his birthday, on April 13, 1973. Nathan Lerner, an accomplished photographer whose long career the New York Times wrote "was inextricably bound up in the history of visual culture in Chicago", recognized immediately the artistic merit of Darger's work. By this time Darger was in the Catholic mission, St. Augustine's, where his father had died, operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Lerners took charge of the Darger estate, publicizing his work and contributing to projects such as the 2004 documentary In the Realms of the Unreal. In cooperation with the Lerners, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art dedicated the Henry Darger Room in 2008 as part of its permanent collection. Darger has become internationally recognized thanks to the efforts of people who knew to save his works. After Nathan Lerner's death in 1997, Kiyoko Lerner became the sole figure in charge of both her husband and Darger's estates. The U.S. copyright representative for Estate of Henry Darger and the Estate of Nathan Lerner is the Artists Rights Society.

Darger is buried in All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinoismarker, in a plot called "The Old People of the Little Sisters of the Poor Plot." Darger's modest headstone is inscribed "Artist" and "Protector of Children."

In the Realms of the Unreal

Darger's work contains many religious themes, albeit handled extremely idiosyncratically. In the Realms of the Unreal postulates a large planet around which Earth orbits as a moon and where most people are Christian (mostly Catholic). The majority of the story concerns the adventures of the daughters of Robert Vivian, seven sisters who are princesses of the Christian nation of Abbieannia and who assist a daring rebellion against the evil John Manley's regime of child slavery imposed by the Glandelinians. The latter resemble Confederate soldiers from the American Civil War. (Darger, like his father, was a Civil War expert.) Children take up arms in their own defense and are often slain in battle or viciously tortured by the Glandelinian overlords. The elaborate mythology also includes a species called the "Blengigomeneans" (or Blengins for short), gigantic winged beings with curved horns who occasionally take human or part-human form, even disguising themselves as children. They are usually (but not always) benevolent; some Blengins are extremely suspicious of all humans, due to Glandelinian atrocities.

In the Realms of the Unreal includes The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, and extends over 15 immense, densely-typed volumes of 15,145 total pages. The text is accompanied by three bound volumes of several hundred illustrations, scroll-like watercolor paintingson paper, the work of six decades, derived from magazines and coloring books. In addition, Darger wrote an eight volume, 5,084-page autobiography, The History of my Life; a 10-year daily weather journal; assorted diaries; and a second work of fiction, provisionally entitled Crazy House, of over 10,000 handwritten pages.

Once free of the asylum, Darger tried to begin the process of reconstructing his shattered family life. He attempted to adopt a child, but his repeated efforts failed. Searching for the child he was denied in reality, he found richly symbolic substitutes in newspaper clippings, particularly a portrait from the Chicago Daily News from May 9, 1911 -- a five-year-old murder victim, named Elsie Paroubek, who apparently wandered away from her home on April 8 and was kidnapped and strangled. Her body was found a month later in a sanitary district channel near the screen guards of the powerhouse at Lockport, Illinois. Miss Paroubek's disappearance and murder, her funeral, and the subsequent investigation, were the subjects of a huge amount of coverage in the Daily News and other papers at the time.

This newspaper photo was part of a growing personal archive of clippings Darger had been gathering. There is no indication that the murder or the news photo and article had any particular significance for Darger, until one day he could not find it among his personal effects. Writing in his journal at the time, he began to process this forfeiture of yet another child, lamenting that "the huge disaster and calamity" of his loss "will never be atoned for," but "shall be avenged to the uttermost limit."

According to his autobiography, Darger believed the photo was among several items that were stolen when his locker at work was broken into. He never found his copy of the photograph again. Because he couldn't remember the exact date of its publication, he couldn't locate it in the newspaper archive. Instead of doing further research, he began an elaborate series of novenas and other prayers to God for the picture to be returned or replaced.

The fictive war that was sparked by Darger's loss of the newspaper photograph of the strangled girl, whose murderer was never found, became Darger's lifetime magnum opus. He had been working on some version of the novel before this time (he makes reference to an early draft which was also lost or stolen), but now it became an all-consuming creation.

In The Realms of the Unreal, the "assassination of the child labor rebel Annie Aronburg... was the most shocking child murder ever caused by the Glandelinian Government," and was the cause of the war. Through their sufferings, valiant deeds and exemplary holiness, the Vivian Girls are hoped to be able to help bring about a triumph of Christianity. Darger provided two endings to the story: In one, the Vivian Girls and Christianity are triumphant; in the other, they are defeated and the godless Glandelinians reign.

Darger's human figures were rendered largely by tracing, collage, or photo enlargement from popular magazines and children's books. (Much of the "trash" he collected was old magazines and newspapers, which he clipped for source material.) Some of his favorite figures were the Coppertone Girl and Little Annie Rooney. He is praised for his natural gift for composition and the brilliant use of color in his watercolors. The images of daring escapes, mighty battles, and painful torture are reminiscent not only of epic films such as Birth of a Nation (which Darger might easily have seen) but of events in Catholic history; the text makes it clear that the child victims are heroic martyrs like the early saints. One idiosyncratic feature of Darger's artwork is an apparent transgenderism: Characters are often portrayed unclothed or partially clothed, and regardless of ostensible gender, some females have penises. Some feel Darger was unfamiliar with female anatomy, that he meant it as a symbol of power (a chapter of In the Realms of the Unreal includes a description of Darger's belief in female superiority) or that he modeled the girls after images of the infant Jesus.

Darger's mental health

Much modern fascination with Darger concerns his portrayal of horrific brutality displayed against children.

Darger understood something of the nature of his devastated upbringing. In a paraphrase of the Declaration of Independence, he wrote of children's right "to play, to be happy, and to dream, the right to normal sleep of the night's season, the right to an education, that we may have an equality of opportunity for developing all that are in us of mind and heart."

Some people who knew him speculated that Darger may have suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. However, despite Darger's unusual lifestyle, infantilism and strange behavior, he has not generally been considered insane. In the biographical film about him, this topic is addressed, and Darger, while certainly described as eccentric, is also mentioned to be "in complete control of his life". MacGregor, in the appendix to his book on Darger, speculates that the most fitting diagnosis is autism, of an Asperger syndrome type. Others have compared the unusual and monomaniacal devotion of the Philadelphia Wireman to Darger.

He mourned life itself. In the last entry in his diary, before his April 1973 death, he wrote: "January 1, 1971. I had a very poor nothing like Christmas. Never had a good Christmas all my life, nor a good new year, and now.... I am very bitter but fortunately not revengeful, though I feel should be how I am..."

Last years

In 1968, Darger became interested in tracing some of his frustrations back to his childhood. It was in this year that he wrote The History of My Life, a book that spends 206 pages detailing his early life before veering off into 4,672 pages of fiction about a huge twister called "Sweetie Pie," probably based on memories of the tornado he had witnessed in 1908. He also kept a diary to chronicle the weather and his daily activities. Darger often concerned himself with the plight of abused and neglected children; the institution where he had lived as a boy was brought under investigation in a huge scandal shortly before he left and he might have seen victims of child abuse in the hospital where he worked.

A second work of fiction, provisionally entitled Crazy House: Further Adventures in Chicago, contains over 10,000 handwritten pages. Written after The Realms, it takes that epic's major characters—the seven Vivian sisters and their companion/secret brother, Penrod—and places them in Chicago, with the action unfolding during the same years as that of the earlier book. Begun in 1939, it is a tale of a house that is possessed by demons and haunted by ghosts, or has an evil consciousness of its own. Children disappear into the house and are later found brutally murdered. The Vivians and a male friend are sent to investigate and discover that the murders are the work of evil ghosts. The girls go about exorcising the place, but have to resort to arranging for a full-scale Holy Mass to be held in each room before the house is clean.

Posthumous fame and influence

Darger is one of the most famous figures in the history of outsider art. At the Outsider Art Fair, held every January in New York Citymarker, and at auction, his work is among the highest-priced of any self-taught artist. The American Folk Art Museummarker, New York Citymarker, opened a Henry Darger Study Center in 2001. His work commands upward of $80,000 and his room is re-created at a new permanent exhibition at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, a Chicago gallery.

A 2008 exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum, titled "Dargerism: Contemporary Artists and Henry Darger," examined the influence of Darger's oeuvre on eleven artists, including Trenton Doyle Hancock, Robyn O'Neil, and Amy Cutler, who were responding not only to the aesthetic nature of Darger's mythic work -- with its tales of good versus evil, its epic scope and complexity, and its transgressive undertone -- but also to his driven work ethic and all-consuming devotion to artmaking.

Also in 2008, the Henry Darger Room opened to the public as part of a permanent installation at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago. The room is an actual restoration of the living room meticulously recreated from Darger's small northside Chicago apartment.

Darger is the subject of a radio play, Darger and the Detective, by Mike Walker performed by members of the Chicago-based Steppenwolf Theatre Companymarker for BBC Radio 3

Darger in popular culture

Since his death in 1973 and the discovery of his massive opus, and especially since the 1990s, there have been many references in popular culture to Darger's work—references by other visual artists (including, but not limited to, artists of comics and graphic novels); numerous songs by artists from Snakefinger (one of the earliest, in 1979) to Natalie Merchant (on her 2001 album Motherland) to the American indie band Wussy on their album Left For Dead (2007); a 1999 book-length poem, Girls on the Run, by John Ashbery; and a 2004 multimedia piece by choreographer Pat Graney incorporating Darger images. These artists have variously drawn from and responded to Darger's artistic style, his themes (especially the Vivian Girls, the young heroines of Darger's massive illustrated novel), and the events in his life. Jessica Yu's 2004 documentary In the Realms of the Unreal details Darger's life and artworks. Canadian hardcore band Fucked Up include a track entitled "Vivian Girls" on the 2006 album Hidden World, the lyrics of which deal with the violent plot and the nature of Darger's fixation on the virginal main characters.

The Vivian Girls, an all-girl indie/punk/shoegaze trio from Brooklyn, took their name from Darger's work.

The Vivian Girls were namechecked by San Francisco guitarist Snakefinger (Philip Lithman Roth), an associate of the Residents, in his song "The Vivian Girls." The song was also recorded by Camper Van Beethoven offshoot Monks of Doom on their 1989 LP The Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company.

Sufjan Stevens released a song titled "The Vivian Girls Are Visited in the Night by Saint Dargarius and His Squadron of Benevolent Butterflies" on his 2006 compilation album The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album.

Indie rock band ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have a song titled "Segue: In the Realms of the Unreal" on their 2006 album So Divided.

Jesse Kellerman's 2008 novel The Genius took part of its inspiration from Darger's story.

The artist Grayson Perry cites Darger as "the artist he identifies most with in terms of his creative pathways," and his influence can clearly be seen in Perry's use of visual language.

Comic book artist Scott McCloud refers to Darger's work in his book Making Comics, while describing the danger artists encounter in the creation of a character's back-story. McCloud says that complicated narratives can easily spin out of control when too much unseen information is built up around the characters. McCloud, Scott. Making Comics. New York: Harper Collins. 2006, p.122

In her coffee table book, Influence, Mary-Kate Olsen cited Darger as one of her favorite painters.

The Simpsons references Darger in the episode "Lisa the Drama Queen". Lisa Simpson goes to the American Folk Art Museummarker and Darger paintings can be seen.

The Venture Brothers references Darger in the episode, "Self-Medication"(episode 406). Sgt. Hatred, after commenting that the film he and Hank & Dean Venture are watching (with obvious similarities to Tolkien's " The Return of the King")"has an awful lot of realms", then after being told that "(elves)...don't have a gender...just stay 13 forever", calls out, "What? Did Henry Darger write this?!"

Collections and exhibits

Darger’s works are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Artmarker and the American Folk Art Museummarker in New York, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art (Chicago), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Collection de l’Art Brut (Lausanne).

Darger’s art also has been featured in many notable museum exhibitions, including “The Unreality of Being,” curated by Stephen Prokopoff (University of Iowa Museum of Art, 1996; Museum of American Folk Art, New York, 1997). It was also seen in “Disasters of War” (P.S. 1, New York, 2000), where it was presented alongside prints from the famous Francisco de Goya series The Disasters of War and works derived from these by the British contemporary-art duo Jake and Dinos Chapman. Earlier this year, an entire gallery was devoted to Darger’s drawings in “Dubuffet and Art Brut” at the Museum Kunst Palast, in Düsseldorf; that exhibition will open at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Lille-Métropole on October 10 (and run through February 1, 2006). Darger’s work has also been shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Setagaya Art Museum (Tokyo), the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin), and the Collection de l’Art Brut. Darger’s art has also been featured in exhibitions at La Maison Rouge (Paris) and at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco).

In 2008, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago opened its permanent exhibit of the Henry Darger Room - an installation that is a recreation of the actual restored living room from the Chicago apartment where Darger lived and made his art. It is the only existing location open to the public which shows a glimpse into the artist's personal living quarters.

Selected public collections

  • Museum of Modern Art (New York)
  • American Folk Art Museum (New York)
  • New Orleans Museum of Art
  • Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art (Chicago)
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago)
  • Milwaukee Art Museum
  • Walker Art Center (Minneapolis)
  • Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin)
  • National Museum of American Art (Smithsonian, Washington D.C.)
  • High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA)
  • Collection de l’Art Brut (Lausanne)
  • MusĂ©e d'art moderne de Lille Metropole (Villeneuve d'Ascq)

Selected solo exhibits


  • Henry Darger : A Story of Girls at War, of Paradises Dreamed, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
  • Henry Darger: The Vivian Girls Emerge, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY

  • Henry Darger: Highlights from the American Folk Art Museum, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, and Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA
  • Bruit et fureur: L’œuvre de Henry Darger (Sound and Fury: The Art of Henry Darger), La maison rouge, Paris

  • Andererseits: Die Phantastik, Landesgalerie am Oberösterreichischen Landesmuseum, Linz, Austria
  • Henry Darger, Galerie St. Etienne, New York, NY

  • Visions Realized: The Paintings and Process of Henry Darger, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago, IL
  • Henry Darger: In the Realms of the Unreal, Watari-Um Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

  • Darger: The Henry Darger Collection, American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY
  • Studies and Sketches: Henry Darger, Eva and Morris Feld Gallery, American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY

  • Disasters of War, P.S.1/MoMA, New York, NY

  • Henry Darger: Realms of the Unreal, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL

  • Henry Darger and His Realms, Galerie St. Etienne New York, NY

  • Henry Darger: The Unreality of Being, The University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA, Museum of American Folk
  • Art, New York, NY, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, Chicago Public Library, Chicago , IL, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA

  • Dans les Royaumes del'IrrĂ©el, Collection de l'art brut and other venues Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Art in Chicago 1945 - 1995, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL

  • Henry Darger, Rosa Esman Gallery, New York, NY
  • Henry Darger, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, NY

  • Henry Darger: Realms of the Unreal, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, NY

  • The Drawings of Henry Darger, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, NY

  • The Realms of the Unreal, Hyde Park Art Center Chicago, IL

Selected group exhibits

  • Glossolalia, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

  • Effigies, Stuart Shave Modern Art, London, UK (9/7 - 10/4)
  • The Writer's Brush, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NY (9/11-10/27)
  • Art Brussels Contemporary Art Fair, Andrew Edlin Gallery

  • A Secret Service, (Hayward Gallery Touring Project, London), Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK,
  • Whitworth Gallery, Manchester, UK
  • Into Me/Out Of Me, P.S. 1 /MoMA, New York, NY , KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin
  • Musgrave Kinley Outsider Collection, Tate Britain, London
  • Inner Worlds Outside, Fundacion La Caixa, Madrid, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

  • Realms of Creation: Wölfli & Darger, Side by Side, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY
  • Mixed-Up Childhood, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland

  • Splat Boom Pow! The Influence of Cartoons in Contemporary Art, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston MA
  • Art Brut, Neuve Invention and Outsider Art, Andrew Edlin Gallery, Miami Beach, FL

  • Cathy Wilkes - Henry J. Darger, Migros Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Zurich
  • Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, NSW

  • The First 10 Years: Selected Works from the Collection, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

  • The Modern Child, Galerie St. Etienne, New York, NY

  • Self-Taught Artists of the 20th Century: An American Anthology, (A traveling exhibit including nine Darger pieces)
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
  • Amon Carter Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
  • Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, NY
  • Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

  • Art in Chicago 1945 - 1995, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL

  • A World of Their Own, Twentieth Century American Folk Art, Newark Museum, Newark, NJ

  • Parallel Visions, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, Museo Nacional Reina *SofĂ­a, Madrid, Kunsthalle
  • Basel, Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo

  • Transmitters: The Isolate Artist in America, Philadelphia College of Art, Philadelphia, PA

  • Outsider Art in Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, IL
  • Outsiders, Arts Council of Great Britain, Hayward Gallery, London


  1. MacGregor, John M., Henry Darger, in the Realms of the Unreal, Delano-Greenidge 2002, pp. 494-495.
  2. Bonesteel, Michael, 2000:10
  3. Reges, Margaret. (2008) All Music Guide. "Deriving their name from the ill-fated characters featured in the work of writer/illustrator Henry Darger, the Vivian Girls (not to be confused with the "craft pop" duo of the same name) are a Brooklyn-based trio whose gritty lo-fi tunes nod to seminal indie pop acts like Black Tambourine, Talulah Gosh, and Tiger Trap."


  • Anderson, Brooke Davis. Darger: The Henry Darger Collection at the American Folk Art Museummarker. New York: American Folk Art Museummarker in association with Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2001.
  • Ashbery, John. Girls on the Run: A Poem. New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1999.
  • Bonesteel, Michael (ed.). Henry Darger: Art and Selected Writings. New York: Rizzoli, 2000.
  • Bourrit, Bernard. Henry Darger: Espace mouvant. In "La Part de l'Oeil" n° 20, Bruxelles, 2005: 252–259.
  • Collins, Paul, Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism. New York: Bloomsbury, 2004. ISBN 1582343675
  • Jones, Finn-Olaf, Fantasy," Forbes, April 25, 2005.
  • Kitajima, Keizo (photographs), and Koide, Yukiko and Tsuzukimota, Kyoichi (text), Henry Darger's Room: 851 Webster. Tokyo, Japan: Imperial Press, 2007.
  • MacGregor, John M. Henry Darger: In the Realms of the Unreal. New York: Delano Greenridge Editions, 2002. ISBN 0929445155.
  • Morrison, C. L. The Old Man in the Polka-Dotted Dress: Looking for Henry Darger. New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2005.
  • Schjeldahl, Peter. Folks, The New Yorker, January 14, 2002: 88–89.
  • Peter Schjeldahl's illustrated review of an exhibit of Darger's art at the American Folk Art Museummarker in New York Citymarker.
  • Review (unsigned) of "Henry Darger: Desperate and Terrible Questions," The Outsider.
  • Shaw, Lytle, The Moral Storm: Henry Darger's "Book of Weather Reports", Cabinet. An examination of Darger's 10-year weather diaries and their relation to his work and to Christian painting.
  • Perry, Grayson, and Jones, Wendy, Grayson Perry: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl. Vintage, 2007. ISBN 9780099485162.

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