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From time to time we invite guests to post about items of interest and are pleased to have H. Kevin Miserocchi, executive director of the Tee and Charles Addams Foundation, join us today to talk about cartoonist Charles Samuel Addams. Addams is best known as the creator of the Addams Family, and is the subject of a doodle today in honor of his 100th birthday. -Ed.

I spent the summer of 1979 fundraising with Tee Matthews Miller for the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons. We spent most of our time in the home she shared with her cartoonist paramourand too many dogs and cats to nameduring his weekends away from Manhattan. Id met her partner several times before I realized that behind all the stacks of paper and collectibles and layers of dust and pet fur in Tees office den, the walls were decorated with familiar art. Not just any artthe original artwork from the pages of The New Yorker magazines that my brother and I had cut up or crayoned across when we were boys. Tees boyfriend was the Charles Addamsthe one with two ds. I was home, and our friendship was forever cemented.

They were married in Tees pet cemetery in Water Mill, NY in 1980a surprise for the 60 guests coming for cocktails during the Memorial Day weekend. The wedding party all wore black. It was the union of a wonderful woman of gentle spirit and great generosity and a beguiling man with a subtly wicked sense of humor. Bashful and soft-spoken as he was, he had a devil-child glint in his eyes and a Lugosi-like mouth when he laughed, showing none of his teeth.

Eleven years after his 1988 death, his widow and I formed the not-for-profit Tee and Charles Foundation to protect his legacy as an extraordinary cartoonist with a painterly technique, and to educate people about Charlies gift by exhibiting his work worldwide. Following Tees passing in 2002, the Foundation dedicated the couples Sagaponack homestead, The Swamp, as a museum. They had moved there in the mid-1980s, and in true Addams style, they took their cemetery with thema sweet place where their ashes are interred alongside those of their beloved dogs and cats. family attorney .

Of the thousands of works Charlie published in his 55 years of cartooning, only 150 were devoted to the group of characters who became known as The Addams Family. But the perfectly off-center humor behind these characters won worldwide adoration even before they became the television and film family we know today. Even for those who never had the thrill of knowing the classy gentleman behind this unique art, Charlies family continues to capture the hearts of new generations of cartoon aficionados. We hope todays doodle inspires you to seek out more of his work.

Posted by H. Kevin Miserocchi, Executive Director, Tee and Charles Addams Foundation

Categories: Blogger Articles

One comment on “Happy 100th birthday, Charles Samuel Addams

  1. It’s not exactly normal for me to read this kind of subject matter, but this caught my attention as soon as I read the first sentence. Thank you so much.

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