Monday, April 10, 2017

Grace Drayton October 14, 1877 – January 31, 1936

Grace Drayton
Image of profile of Grace Drayton, wearing a large feathered hat.
BornOctober 14, 1877
DiedJanuary 31, 1936 (aged 58)
EducationDrexel UniversityPhiladelphia School of Design for Women
Known forIllustration, Comics
Notable workCampbell Soup Kids
Dolly Dimples
Dolly Dingle Paper Dolls
The Pussycat Princess
Spouse(s)Theodore Wiederseim (m. 1900, div. 1911)
W. Drayton (m. 1911, div. 1923)
Dolly Dingle
Grace Drayton (née Gebbie; née Wiederseim; October 14, 1877 – January 31, 1936) was an illustrator of children's books, fashion pages, and magazine covers. She created the Campbell Soup Kids. She is considered to be one of the first and most successful American female cartoonists.

Education and Career

Drayton attended Drexel Institute (now Drexel University) and the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (PSDW).[4] While at PSDW, she was a student of the American artist and teacher Robert Henrifrom 1893-94. Drayton began her career as a freelance artist in 1895. In 1900 she created two series for The Philadelphia Press called Bobby Blake and Dolly Drake. From 1905–1909, she was a member of The Plastic Club, an arts organization in Philadelphia. She created the Campbell Soup Kids which was used in advertisements for Campbell's Soup beginning in 1904. The Campbell Soup Kids and Drayton's other children characters were drawn in a cute cherubic style often with round faces, plump bodies, and rosy cheeks.

In collaboration with her sister, Margaret G. Hays, Drayton published The Adventures of Dolly Drake, Bobby Blake in Storyland, and The Turr’ble Tales of Kaptin Kiddo. Drayton designed the popular Dolly Dingle Paper Dolls which appeared in the women's magazine Pictorial Review. She also created syndicated newspaper comic strips such as ToodlesPussy PumpkinsDolly Dimples, and The Pussycat Princess. Drayton was the first woman to be a cartoonist for Hearst.The Pussycat Princess was started in 1935. After Drayton's death in 1936, the strip was continued by Ruth Carroll and Ed Anthony. 


The Campbell Soup Kids were an iconic staple of Campbell's Soup advertising strategy for decades. The Campbell Soup Kids drawings and memorabila remain popular with antique collectors. It is possible that Drayton's work had some influence on Japanese Shōjo manga in the late 1930s. Drayton's Dolly Dingle dolls are part of the The Joseph Downs Collection at the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. Some of her work is also part of the collection at The Cartoon Museum.

Personal life

Drayton was born in 1877 in Philadelphia. Her father, George Gebbie, was an art publisher. In 1900 she married Theodore Wiederseim. In 1911, she divorced Wiederseim and married William Drayton, and started signing her work as Grace Drayton. She divorced Drayton in 1923. Drayton died in 1936.

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