In Dialogue on Henry Darger with Lisa Stone and Sydney Walters

Friday, July 7, 2023
12–12:45 p.m. central
Zoom Video Conference

In Dialogue on Henry Darger with Lisa Stone and Sydney Walters

Installation of the Henry Darger Room Collection at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
The Henry Darger Room Collection at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. Photo © John Faier

In dialogue with Intuit President and CEO Debra Kerr, artists and scholars share insights into the impact and legacy of the Henry Darger Room at Intuit. These conversations will inform the re-curation and reinstallation of the Room and its accompanying exhibition on the life and practice of Darger—opening in 2024 following the museum’s renovation. In Dialogue on Henry Darger, a three-part virtual program series, is an opportunity for audiences to connect with the renowned outsider artist’s work more deeply and consider new perspectives on his impact.

In the second conversation, scholar Lisa Stone and art educator Sydney Walters will discuss their introductions to Henry Darger. Stone will address her co-curation of the Henry Darger Room and her thoughts on the Room’s legacy. Walters will share her experience crafting Henry Darger-inspired lesson plans and how these lessons align with her artistic and teaching practices.

Closed captions will be available at the virtual program. Please contact Lindsey Wurz at with questions related to accessibility accommodations.

Two hours before the program, Intuit will email the Zoom link to registrants. Please check your junk folder for event reminders. Unfortunately, these emails are sent there sometimes.

Who is Henry Darger?

Henry Darger (1892–1973) was a Chicagoan who spent part of his youth consigned to an Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children in Lincoln, Ill. As a young adult, he returned to Chicago, got a job as a janitor and lived a mostly-reclusive life in a one-room apartment. At the time of Darger’s death, his landlords discovered an extensive body of artwork and writings. Central to these was the novel, In the Realms of the Unreal, accompanied by hundreds of illustrations made through a painstaking tracing process, through which he learned to draw and paint. In 2000, former landlady Kiyoko Lerner donated the contents of Darger’s living and working spaces to Intuit, which were installed in 2008. The Henry Darger Room Collection and Archive includes source materials for his illustrations (tracings, clippings from newspapers, magazines, coloring books, cartoons); architectural elements and furnishings (table, fireplace, phonograph, dresser, chandelier); and art-making supplies (paints, brushes, pencils).

Meet Lisa Stone

Lisa Stone smiling, with her arms crossed
Photo courtesy Lisa Stone

Lisa Stone is an independent curator, writer and educator. She’s a proud member of Intuit’s Vivian Society and was the 2021 recipient of the museum’s Visionary Award. Stone was curator of the Roger Brown Study Collection (1997–2020) and senior lecturer in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism (2000–2021), both at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she earned a Master of Science in Historic Preservation. Her research, teaching, writing and curating concern the preservation and interpretation of artist-built environments and the realms of non-mainstream art. She was co-curator with Kenneth C. Burkhart of Chicago Calling: Art Against the Flow, which traveled from Chicago to Paris; Kaufbeuren, Germany; Lausanne, Switzerland; and Amsterdam. Her studio is a garden/ruin in rural Wisconsin.

Meet Sydney Walters

Photo of a white woman, identified as Sydney Walters, smiling, wearing a black top and a hat
Photo courtesy Sydney Walters

Sydney Walters is a high school visual arts teacher for Chicago Public Schools. Her experience and focus revolve around arts promotion and working with youth. Mini Fest, her passion project, is a nonprofit event that makes art education accessible for all. Connecting like-minded people from around Chicago, she works to build a reachable network of entrepreneurs, creatives and entertainers. After participating in Intuit’s Teacher Fellowship Program, Walters has a greater appreciation for outsider artists. She enjoys teaching her students the ideas that art comes from within and artists come in all shapes and sizes and from all backgrounds.

Watch the program on YouTube