Alanson Burton Walker was a very successful magazine cartoonist working in the early 20th century. His work was in high demand and he drew for all the important magazines of the time where he created gentle, wry cartoons on issues of the day.
This exhibition, which highlights the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum’s growing collection of 19th century prints, presents both sides of the conflict of the American Civil War. Most of the work represents the views of Union supporters, and only one cartoonist, Adelbert Volck, published works favoring of the Confederate States of America, of which examples of his etchings are included.
Anne Mergen’s editorial cartoons chronicle history from the Great Depression through the Cold War. In 1933, she was the only woman editorial cartoonist in the United States, a status that continued until her retirement in 1956. She continued to have cartoons published as late as June 1961.
Drawing Blood traces the history of comics’ obsession with medicine from the 17th century to today. Until the nineteenth century, medical care often meant ancient, ineffective, and dangerous treatments such as bloodletting and purging. Early cartoonists found a favorite topic for satire in self-trained barber surgeons and apothecaries proffering cures that were frequently worse than the disease. Drawing Blood highlights the sometimes caustic eye of cartoonists, as they consider doctors, patients, illness, and treatment in the rapidly changing world of medicine—one which continues to present new possibilities and new challenges.
For more than six decades, Edwina Frances Dumm worked as a professional cartoonist. Beginning as a political cartoonist on the staff of the Columbus Daily Monitor, Edwina paved the way as the first woman employed in a full-time position as an editorial cartoonist.
The Hale Scrapbook (so designated by historian and collector Draper Hill, from whom it was acquired) dates from approximately 1746 to 1830 and includes engravings by the leading artists of Georgian England, letters, newspaper clippings, woodcuts, broadsides, sketches, paintings, and other miscellaneous materials.
Light was by far the most important of lithographic comic weekly to be published outside of New York or San Francisco during the last quarter of the 19th century. It provided the first or early employment to a host of talented cartoonists, illustrators, and at least one writer who would later go on to successful careers.
Bill Blackbeard, a lifelong comics fan, historian, and collector, dedicated his life to the preservation of newspaper comics. Over the course of 30 years, Blackbeard amassed the world’s most comprehensive collection of comic strip clippings and illustrated pages in his home—totaling 75 tons of material—and christened it the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art.
Milton Caniff changed the history of the American comic strip. He was an expert in both the artistic and literary aspects of the medium. The education he received at Ohio State University matured into the “every wrinkle must show” graphic style for which he became famous.
Sam Milai was an artist and cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Courier for 33 years. He won the National Newspaper Publisher’s Association Russwurn trophy for the best cartoon eight times during his career. Milai also created a feature titled Facts about the Negro that celebrated the accomplishments of people of color.
In the late 1890s and early 1900s, cartoons in American newspapers were an evolving art form. Highly talented artists were given generous page space on which to work their experiments in composition and dialogue. Many of these cartoonists were also painters, sculptors, and illustrators.
Tales from the Vault: 40 Years / 40 Stories is based on our 2017 exhibit, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of our founding. We have chosen 40 stories from the many that could be told through our collections: stories about the cartoons and comics themselves, the artists and writers who created them, the people who collected them, and their impact on the audience that read them. Featuring work by Garry Trudeau, Rose O’Neill, Osamu Tezuka, Brumsic Brandon Jr., and more.