Discovered Gibson Girl art leads to questions for resident

Jeanette Kendall TimesNewspapers
East Peoria resident Dan Densberger found 20 Gibson Girl prints behind a hutch in his mother’s house.

As Dan Densberger cleaned out his mother’s apartment a few months ago, he found a cardboard sleeve behind a hutch. The outside of the cardboard is marked “Gibson Girl pictures” in black marker.

Inside the protective sleeve were 20 Gibson Girl drawings by American artist Charles Dana Gibson, who died in 1944.

“I moved my mom from Brandon Wood into Riverview. She lived in Brandon Wood for 15 years. ... And when I moved the furniture, when I moved the hutch, there they were,” Densberger said. “I have no idea how long they had them, where they got them.”

Densberger said he was surprised at the find and asked his mother about them. She didn’t know where they came from, but Densberger said his father, who died in 2003, may have purchased them.

Each drawing centers around the theme of the Gibson Girl. According to the Library of Congress, Gibson created the Gibson Girl in the 1890s and they were defined as “a vibrant, new feminine ideal who was the visual embodiment of what writers of the period described as the ‘New Woman.’ From the 1890s