I admit that before I heard Cara Zimmerman's presenation, “Henry Darger, Adolf Wolfli, and Tales of Violence in Outsider Art,” at Grimm Legacies, I knew virtually nothing about Darger's work. (Zimmerman didn't include the Adolf Wolfli part of her presentation due to time constraints.) I know I wasn't alone and much of the after conversation of those who did seemed to be based on watching the documentary about Darger, In the Realms of the Unreal: The Mystery of Henry Darger.
I am going to resort to Wikipedia, since my notes are muddled. I spent more time just processing the art displayed and listening to Zimmerman than trying to take notes since my knowledge was near null.
Henry Joseph Darger, Jr. (ca. April 12, 1892 – April 13, 1973) was a reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a custodian in Chicago, Illinois. 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-Angelinian 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's personal library included fairy tale books and Baum's Wizard of Oz. The presentation was fascinating, but the allusion to specific fairy tales is faint so I don't have much to share in that way either. Overall, Darger is a fascinating man who was fascinated with children, children's stories and fairy tale like motifs in his writing and art. There are many great books if you want to read more about him, which I am including in this post.