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Artist shows new work to mixed reaction. Drawing by Orson Lowell, 1913.

Finding Pictures: Cartoon Cavalcade

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Did you know that the Library of Congress has amassed a collection of 140,000 cartoon prints and drawings over the past 150 years, including political cartoons, comic strip and comic book illustrations, gag cartoons, and animation cels? If you would like to learn more, please join Sara W. Duke, Curator of Popular & Applied Graphic Art, for an insider’s perspective of the wealth of cartoon art in the collections of the Prints & Photographs Division. Register for the virtual presentation: Finding Pictures: Cartoon Cavalcade, taking place on Wednesday, December 20th, at 3pm EST. We hope you will join us!

In this post, enjoy a small sample of the visual treats included in the talk. First, we have actor John Barrymore as interpreted by Mexican artist and skilled caricaturist Miguel Covarrubias:

John Barrymore, or, Reluctant Roscius. Drawing by Miguel Covarrubias, published 1926.

This political cartoon featuring presidential candidate James G. Blaine receiving judgment from Republican delegates appeared in an 1884 issue of “Puck,” an early humor magazine.

Phryne before the Chicago tribunal / Gillam, with apologies to J.L. Gerome. Print by Bernhard Gillam, 1884 June 4.

“Little Nemo in Slumberland” was a weekly comic by American cartoonist Winsor McCay. Here we have a detail of one of the original drawings for a 1910 adventure:

Detail of Little Nemo in slumberland. Ha! Ha! I see smugglers in the distance! Drawing by Winsor McCay, 1910.

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Comments (4)

  1. Actually, the reaction to Mr. Lowell’s work seems to be pretty uniformly negative! Oh, how I’d love to see the subject of his painting! Clever composition.

  2. I rarely see my favorite cartoon: Pogo The cartoons are good but the humor and intelligence that are part of them is superb. Walt Kelly should be memorialized in some fashion.

    • Pogo and the work of Walt Kelly do appear in our collections (unfortunately, due to rights restrictions, they don’t display at large size offsite), and there may be an example in the talk next week, so tune in! Feel free to write into us through Ask a Librarian if you want to research in person!

  3. In response to Sharon M. — I think the hidden image is an extremely unflattering portrait of the lady to the far right.

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