Donna Barr, an accomplished artist and prolific writer, was born in Everett, Washington in 1952, and began drawing as a child in 1954. She served in the United States Army from 1970-73, and received a bachelors' Degree in German from Ohio State University in 1978.
Barr is best known for her two series Stinz (1984) and The Desert Peach (1986). Stinz tells the story of a society of centaur-like people living in a setting reminiscent of pre-industrial Germany, while The Desert Peach is about Pfirsich Rommel, the fictional and homosexual younger brother of Erwin “The Desert Fox Rommel,” and is set in North Africa during World War II. Subsequent publications included Hader and the Colonel (1987), Bosom Enemies (1987), and Barr Girls (1990). Her work has been translated into German, Japanese, Italian, and Croatian. Her most ambitious work is a series of handmade ornate, stitchery-covered bound sketchbooks, called the Black Manuscripts. In 1997, Barr started her own publishing company.
Barr has been a respected presence in drawn-book publishing throughout her career. Her drawn books, which cross the boundaries between art and writing, redefine traditional novels, artist's books, graphic novels, and book design and illustration. Her background in 20th-century German culture and language, literature, world mythologies, history, and religion informs her artwork, which is influenced by Japanese woodcuts, European fine arts, Victorian novels, Chinese poets, and Russian mystics. She works in pencil, ink, watercolor, and silkscreen.
Barr has been recognized throughout her career with numerous awards and other honors, including The Xeric Grant 2000; The Bruce Brown Foundation Grant 2004; San Diego Comicon International's Inkpot, 1996; Seattle's Cartoonists Northwest's Toonies, 1998; London Comic Creator's Guild's Best Ongoing Humor Series, 1992; the Washington Press Association's Communicator of Excellence for Fiction, 1997 and 1998.
Aside from her professional and personal writing, she has been involved in the Northwest community, as a member of The Graphic Artists Guild, The National Writers Union, UAW/AFL/CIO, and a consultant for the Media curriculum in the Arts Department at Olympic College, in Bremerton, Washington. She lectures on her work at conventions and symposiums all over the United States, Canada, and Europe, and is well known to the growing drawn-book audience in Eastern Europe. She lives in Clallam Bay, Washington with her husband.Author: Jossie Chavez
I. Correspondence, 1984-2006
II. Office Files, 1982-2003
1.) Subject Files, 1985-2002
2.) Consignment Work, 1975-2003
3.) Awards & Recognition, 1973-2003
4.) Press Clippings, 1987-2003
III. Manuscripts & Working Files, 1919-2003
1.) Desert Peach, 1919-2003
A. Manuscripts, 1919-2003
B. Musical Production, 1943-1992
C. Announcements, 1988-2000
D. Illustrations, 1980-1995
E. Additional Materials, 1941-2001
F. Media, ca. 1987-1991
2.) Stinz, 1982-2003
3.) Bosom Enemies, 1987-2001
4.) Hader and the Colonel, 1987-1997
5.) Other Works, 1981-2003
Materials in the Donna Barr Collection document the professional career and creative process of Donna Barr. It consists of a variety of document types including correspondence and newspaper clippings. General ephemera include invitations, programs and awards announcements, and several versions of her illustrations, manuscripts, and personal documents. The collection has been divided into three series: Correspondence, Office Files, and Manuscripts & Working Files.
The Correspondence series dates from 1984-2002, and includes files primarily pertaining to Donna's interactions with fans. It includes birthday and holiday greetings, thank you cards, fan-authored comic strips, paper dolls, and postcards. Several of the envelopes were illustrated either by Barr or her fans. The series is filed chronologically by date.
The Office Files date from 1975-2004, and include files primarily pertaining to Barr's professional career. The series includes four subseries. The Subject Files are composed of business correspondence, art class materials, invoices, pamphlets, flyers, notes, legal referrals, contact information, and directories. The Consignment Work subseries includes illustrations, flyers, newsletters, pamphlets, greeting card layouts, and journals. The Awards & Recognition subseries is composed of awards and certificates of achievement and recognition. The Press Clippings series contains various newspapers clippings, newsletters, and magazines articles written by Barr and about her. The series and all its subseries are filed chronologically by date.
The Manuscripts & Working Files date from 1919-2003, and includes the records of Barr's creative work for several of her published and unpublished works. The series has been split into five subseries reflecting discrete publications or works. The Desert Peach subseries is composed of manuscripts, musical production files, announcements, press clippings, illustrations, media, and artifacts. The Stinz subseries is composed of comic strip stories, manuscripts, illustrations, artifacts, and photographs. The Bosom Enemies series is composed of comic strips stories and illustrations. The Hader and the Colonel series consists of comic strips, book drafts, and illustrations. The Other Works series documents the creation of numerous shorter works, or works which are not very well documented in the collection. It includes various comic strip stories, short stories, illustrations, and manuscripts. The series and all its subseries are filed chronologically by date.