Hogarth and Beyond: Global Cartoons from the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection


June 10, 2009 - August 31, 2009


Reading Room Gallery
27 W. 17th Avenue Mall
Columbus Ohio

The Reading Room Gallery
June 10, 2009 – August 31, 2009

As the old saw goes, timing is everything.

Mort Walker had a dream of a bona fide museum that exhibited original cartoon art.  Hard work and ingenuity turned a mansion into a museum in 1974. More hard work and ingenuity turned a concrete castle into a second home for their museum. Its third incarnation as the International Museum of Cartoon Art (IMCA) in Boca Raton, Florida, seemed to be the dream come true, but economic realities intervened. Despite the challenges during these years, the museum’s collection, thousands of priceless original cartoons from around the world as well as books and artifacts related to all of the genres of cartoon art, grew and flourished.

Concurrent with the museum’s development, a cartoon library was growing at The Ohio State University. It began in two classrooms off the back hallway of the Journalism Building in 1977. Soon it expanded to three classrooms and officialy became part of the University Libraries. When the three classrooms were filled a dozen years later, the library moved into much larger space. In subsequent years, additions to its holdings expanded the collection so much that the use of off-site storage was required.

By 2006 it was clear that provisions had to be made for additional space for the cartoon library and a possible lead donor stepped forward. After two feasibility studies, university officials decided that the cartoon library should have a new home, complete with museum-quality galleries, in Sullivant Hall, a historic building at the gateway to campus. The opportunity to merge the International Museum of Cartoon Art (IMCA) Collection with the library presented itself because of the additional storage space and galleries that will be available in Sullivant Hall. We are grateful that Mort Walker and the IMCA board accepted our invitation and agreed to transfer its treasures to The Ohio State University. In recognition of its expanded responsibility to exhibit original cartoon art, the name of the library was changed to Cartoon Library and Museum in December 2008. It is fitting that one of the galleries in Sullivant Hall will be named in honor of Mort Walker.

The works in this exhibit are a fraction of the many thousands of works in the IMCA Collection, which includes a wide range of cartoon art from around the world. During the museum’s years in Boca Raton, Florida, board member Jerry Robinson was especially active in building its holdings of cartoons by contemporary international cartoonists. We salute the perseverance and dedication of everyone who worked to make the International Museum of Cartoon Art a reality. The International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, which is their legacy, will be the source of great pleasure and inspiration for decades to come.

The opening of this exhibit will be celebrated with a reception from 3:30-5:00 pm at the Hopkins Hall Gallery + Corridor in conjunction with the opening of Yellow Kid to Conan: American Cartoons from the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection. Refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public.