Current Exhibits

  • Looking Backward, Looking Forward: U.S. Immigration in Cartoons and Comics Looking Backward, Looking Forward: U.S. Immigration in Cartoons and Comics November 4, 2017 - April 15, 2018

    “Looking Backward” by Joseph Keppler. Puck, January 11, 1893

    Explore the topic of U.S. immigration through the lens of the political cartoons, comic strips, comic books and graphic novels that have contributed to the debate about this important, and often polarizing, issue.  Cartoons and comics can enlighten us, challenge our beliefs and misconceptions, and bring attention to injustices. However, history shows they can also reflect and magnify our fears and prejudices. From Thomas Nast to Gene Luen Yang, this exhibit looks back on 150 years of cartoon and comics responses to major moments in the American immigration narrative. In examining the past, it aims to inform the current debate, as we move forward with a story that is fundamental to the American experiment itself. 

    * Please note that some images may not be appropriate for all audiences.

    Curated by Jenny Robb, Curator and Associate Professor and Jared Gardner, Professor 

  • Cartoon Couture Cartoon Couture November 4, 2017 - April 15, 2018

    Winnie Winkle Fashion Cut-out by Martin Branner. August 4, 1935.

    Satirizing, advertising, and codifying fashion has been a tradition in cartoons and comic art since the forms’ origins. Historically, the comics medium has often ridiculed the clothing trends of the “elite” to entertain all classes of readers. However, the same medium also disseminated knowledge about fashion widely to its audiences, especially when  the rise of mass-produced ready-to-wear clothing coincided with the emergence of the newspaper comic strip in the first decades of the 20th century. 

    This exhibition, in partnership with the OSU Historic Costume & Textiles Collection, highlights select fads, trends, and innovations from the 19th century through the 1970s, pairing examples of the clothing itself with the comic strips, cartoons, paper-dolls, and comic books in which these styles appeared.

    Curated by Caitlin McGurk, Assistant Professor and Curator for Outreach and Engagement, and Jared Gardner, Professor of English, with assistance from Gayle Strege, Curator and Marlise Schoeny, Assistant Curator, of the OSU Historic Costume & Textiles Collection.