Grace Drayton

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Grace Drayton
Image of profile of Grace Drayton, wearing a large feathered hat.
BornGrace Gebbie
(1878-10-14)October 14, 1878
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedJanuary 31, 1936(1936-01-31) (aged 58)
Area(s)Cartoonist, Illustrator
Pseudonym(s)Grace G. Wiederseim
Notable works
Campbell Soup Kids
Dolly Dimples
Dolly Dingle Paper Dolls
The Pussycat Princess
Theodore Wiederseim
(m. 1900; div. 1911)

W. Drayton
(m. 1911; div. 1923)
Dolly Dingle

Grace Drayton (née Gebbie, also known as Grace Wiederseim; October 14, 1878 – January 31, 1936) was an illustrator of children's books, fashion pages, and magazine covers. She created the Campbell Soup Kids.[1][2] She is considered to be one of the first and most successful American female cartoonists.[3][4]


Drayton was born Grace Gebbie in 1878 in Philadelphia. Her father, George Gebbie, was an art publisher.[4]

Drayton attended Drexel Institute (now Drexel University) and the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (PSDW).[4] While at PSDW, she was a student of the American artist and teacher Robert Henri during 1893 and 1894.[4] Drayton began her career as a freelance artist in 1895.[1] From 1905 to 1909, she was a member of The Plastic Club, an arts organization in Philadelphia.[5] She created the Campbell Soup Kids which was used in advertisements for Campbell's Soup beginning in 1904.[1][2] The Campbell Soup Kids and Drayton's other children characters were drawn in a cute cherubic style often with round faces, plump bodies, and rosy cheeks.[1][2][6]

With her sister Margaret G. Hays (1874-1925) as writer, Drayton produced The Adventures of Dolly Drake and Bobby Blake in Storyland and The Turr’ble Tales of Kaptin Kiddo in the period 1905–1909.[1][2] Drayton designed the popular Dolly Dingle paper dolls, which appeared in the women's magazine Pictorial Review.[5]

She also created syndicated newspaper comic strips for Hearst/King Features such as Naughty Toodles, Dottie Dimple, Dimples, Dolly Dimples and Bobby Bounce, and The Pussycat Princess.[1][6][4] Drayton was the first woman to be a cartoonist for Hearst.[2] The Pussycat Princess was started in 1935. After Drayton's death in 1936, the strip was continued by Ruth Carroll and Ed Anthony.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 1900 she married Theodore Wiederseim. In 1911, she divorced Wiederseim and married William Drayton, and started signing her work as Grace Drayton. She divorced Drayton in 1923.[1][4] Grace Drayton died in 1936 and is buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon, Pennsylvania [7]


The Campbell Soup Kids were an iconic staple of Campbell's Soup advertising strategy for decades.[2] The Campbell Soup Kids drawings and memorabilia remain popular with antique collectors.[3][2] It is possible that Drayton's work had some influence on Japanese Shōjo manga in the late 1930s.[2] Drayton's Dolly Dingle dolls are part of the Joseph Downs Collection at the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.[4][8] Some of her work is also part of the collection at The Cartoon Museum.[4]

Comic strips[edit]

as Grace G. Wiederseim:

  • Toodles / Naughty Toodles / The Strange Adventures of Pussy Pumpkin And Her Chum Toodles! (Hearst, March 22, 1903–January 10, 1904)[2][9]
  • The Adventures of Dolly Drake and Bobby Blake in Storyland (The Philadelphia Press, 1905–1906) — written by Margaret G. Hays[10]
  • The Turr’ble Tales of Kaptain Kiddo (Philadelphia North American Company, 1909) — written by Margaret G. Hays[11]
  • Dottie Dimple (Hearst, 1908–1911)

as Grace Drayton:

  • Dimples (Hearst, January 1914–1918)
  • Dolly Dimples and Bobby Bounce (King Features, 1928–Spring 1933) — with topper strip Kittens[6]
  • The Pussycat Princess (King Features, 1935–1947) — written by Ed Anthony; art continued by Ruth Carroll after Drayton's 1936 death


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Grace Drayton". Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gomez, Betsy (11 March 2016). "She Changed Comics: Golden Age, Silver Age, & Undergrounds". Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b Gilbert, Anne (2002). "Women Illustrators Rate High With Collectors". Antiques & Collecting Magazine. 107 (5): 17.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Wardle, Marian; Burns, Sarah; Brigham Young University; Museum of Art (2005-01-01). American women modernists: the legacy of Robert Henri, 1910-1945. [Provo, UT]: Brigham Young University Museum of Art in Association with Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, N.J. pp. 135, 192. ISBN 0813536839. OCLC 57557328.
  5. ^ a b "Grace Gebbie Wiederseim Drayton". The Plastic Club. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b c The Archivist (March 13, 2014). "Ask the Archivist: Grace G. Drayton". Comics Kingdom. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  7. ^ "Grace Gebbie Drayton Find-A-Grave".
  8. ^ "The Joseph Downs Collection and the Winterthur Archives". Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  9. ^ The Archivist. "Ask the Archivist: TOODLES and PUSSY PUMPKIN," Comics Kingdom (April 3, 2013).
  10. ^ John William Leonard, Albert Nelson Marquis, editors. Who's Who in America, Volume 6 (Marquis Who's Who, 1910), p. 2078.
  11. ^ Robbins, Trina. Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896–2010 (Fantagraphics Books, 2013), pp. 18-21.

External links[edit]