Djuna Barnes self-portrait

Biographical and Historical Notes

Djuna Barnes was an author and illustrator born in New York in 1892. Beginning her career with journalism, she wrote and illustrated stories for various well-known newspapers and magazines. Her illustrations, such as this portrait, were often in the “decadent” style of Aubrey Beardsley. She is known especially for literary works such as Nightwood, Ryder, and The Antiphon, which are said to have moments resembling Barnes’ life experiences. She died in 1982.


Herring, Phillip. “Barnes, Djuna.” American National Biography Online. 2000, accessed September 20, 2017,

Scope and Contents

An untitled self-portrait of Djuna Barnes made with pen and ink on parchment.

This framed 10.75 x 6.5 inch portrait is a stylized sketch in the tradition of Aubrey Beardsley. Barnes' head and upper body are visible. A vertical signature "Djuna" is also featured in the top right corner.

This item came from the collection of Hank O'Neal, Barnes' literary agent and assistant during the final few years of her life.