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1932-06 Oriental Stories
1935-09 Weird Tales
1933-01 Magic Carpet
1936-01 Weird Tales
1932-10 Weird Tales
1936-03 Weird Tales
1933-03 Weird Tales
1937-09 Weird Tales
1933-06 Weird Tales
1938-03 Weird Tales
1934-08 Weird Tales
1938-06 Weird Tales




Margaret Brundage was born Margaret Hedda Johnson on December 9, 1900 in Chicago. Her father was Johnathan E. Johnson, born 1871 in Illinois of Swedish ancestry. He was an auditor at a Malt Makers. Her mother was Margaret J. Johnson, born 1871 in Illinois of Scottish ancestry. She was their only child. The family lived at 4835 Quincy Street.

When her father died in 1910, she was raised by her mother and grandmother, who were both devoted Christian Scientists.

After she graduated high school she studied fashion design at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts from 1921-23, but failed to graduate.

She got her first professional job in 1925 drawing pen & ink designs for the local fashion industry.

In 1927 she married Myron "Slim" Brundage, who was born in 1903 in Idaho. They had one son, Kerlynn Brundage (b. August 27, 1927). They lived at 3318 Maypoll Avenue. Her husband was a house painter, an activist in the Chicago labor movement, and was also an alcoholic. He was often absent from home, so her mother lived with them and helped to keep house and raise Kerlynn.

Her first pulp cover was for the September 1932 Oriental Stories. Brundage went on to create covers for other magazines produced by the same publisher, Popular Fiction Publishing, including The Magic Carpet and most famously for Weird Tales.

Brundage sold sixty-six original pulp cover illustrations to Weird Tales from 1933 to 1945. Her work often featured fantasy scenes of women trapped in sexually vulnerable situations. Brundage covers were very popular with the readers of Weird Tales, but most of the public was not aware of the artist's gender, because her work was usually signed "M. Brundage." When puritanical social forces complained about the overt sexuality of Weird Tales cover art, the editor finally revealed that the artist was a woman, hoping to mollify the perceived offensiveness of her work.

Aside from the remarkable aesthetic of her approach to pulp art, and the rarity of her being a woman in a field that was almost entirely composed of men, Brundage was also unique in the fact that most of her work is created with pastel on illustration board.

After the publishers of Weird Tales moved to NYC in 1938, Brundage lost her only steady publisher, although the company did continue to give her occasional assignments for the next seven years.

In 1939, after twelve years of neglect and abandonment, Margaret Brundage was granted a divorce from Myron "Slim" Brundage, who promptly married his second wife, Katherine C. Wood, on February 10, 1940.

In 1940 the mother of Margaret Brundage, Margaret J. Johnson, died at the age of sixty-nine in Chicago.

Margaret Brundage lived with her son in Chicago in relative poverty for the rest of her life, and continued to create fantasy scenes in pastel for her own amusement.

On August 29, 1972 her son, Kerlynn Brundage, died at the age of forty-four.

Margaret Brundage died at age seventy-five on April 9, 1976.

                                  © David Saunders 2009

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