Mary Meigs

Mary Meigs (1917-2002) was a portraitist and illustrator, but her years at Bryn Mawr and her later life were also taken up with writing. For the College News, she covered theater and books, and she was editor-in-chief her senior year. She served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a WAVE. She studied art in New York and had her first exhibition in 1950. With her partner, journalist and activist Barbara Deming, Meigs lived on Cape Cod in an artists' community which included the painter Philip Rothko and the critic Edmund Wilson.

Later, Meigs became romantically involved with Canadian author Marie-Claire Blais. She moved to Quebec and began writing autobiographical novels: Lily Briscoe: A Self-Portrait (1981), The Medusa Head (1983), and The Box Closet (1987). In 1990, she appeared in the Canadian movie The Company of Strangers, a film about a group of elderly women stranded in the wilderness. Her book, In the Company of Strangers (1991), describes her experiences during the filming. Throughout her later life Meigs, increasingly prominent as a writer, became a spokesperson for elderly lesbians. Meigs's papers, held by the Library, include manuscripts of her major works; her journals from 1977-2000, and illustrations for Jane Eyre and other books.

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