Past Exhibits

  • Making Faces: Portraits by John Kascht Making Faces: Portraits by John Kascht February 15, 2020 - May 3, 2020

    The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum presents Making Faces: Portraits by John Kascht, a traveling retrospective of drawings and paintings personally selected by the artist. Kascht’s irreverent work turns the leisurely pastime of people-watching into an Xtreme sport. Over a 35-year career as an illustrator, he has created work for theater posters, gallery collections, and most major U.S. publications.

    This exhibition features more than 60 satirical portraits of historical and contemporary notables and includes subjects of interest to political junkies, music lovers, moviegoers, pop-culture geeks, history buffs, and even people who hate art shows.

    With its star-studded content and wry humor, Making Faces is a bona fide crowd-pleaser. In addition to entertainment, the show delivers a thought-provoking look at the serious intent behind the funny pictures.

    Image: Caricatures by John Kascht. Clockwise from lower left: Jimmy Stewart, Bill Murray, Ricky Gervais, Whoopi Goldberg, Conan O’Brien, Diane Keaton and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

  • Treasures from the Collections of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Treasures from the Collections of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum November 2, 2019 - May 3, 2020

    Closed Mondays, during exhibit installations, and holidays. Before your visit, see Hours for all closings. 

    This permanent exhibit features a selection of exceptional artwork and artifacts highlighting the breadth and depth of our collections.

  • Ladies First: A Century of Women's Innovations in Comics and Cartoon Art Ladies First: A Century of Women's Innovations in Comics and Cartoon Art November 2, 2019 - May 3, 2020

    [Party Scene}by Mary Fleener, 1982

    Closed Mondays, during exhibit installations, and holidays. Before your visit, see Hours for all closings. 

    From the first female political cartoonist and the first female-created superhero, to the feminist voices that emerged from underground and alternative comics, Ladies First: A Century of Women’s Innovations in Comics and Cartoon Art  is a celebration of how women have defined the field of comics and cartoon art for generations.

    Women have always pushed cartoon art forward. A century ago, suffragettes transformed cartooning to champion their cause. In the booming newspaper comic strip era, artists like Jackie Ormes, Nell Brinkley, and Rose O’Neil found enormous success marketing and licensing their characters into products that would influence young people for decades. Contemporary artists carve out a place between fact and fiction to share deeply personal stories in underground comix, graphic novels and anthologies.

    Drawing on women’s voices from the margins to the center, this exhibit surveys women’s innovations in comics and cartoon art, tracking their contributions to the field. Included are works from early suffragette cartoonists, the queens of the comic strip pages, mainstream comic book artists, communities of self-published minicomics creators, and everyone in between.

    The exhibit features works by Nina Allender, Dale Messick, Edwina Dumm, Aline Kominsky Crumb, Nell Brinkley, Lynda Barry, June Tarpe Mills, Dori Seda, Barbara Brandon-Croft, Trina Robbins, Marie Severin, Rose O’Neil, Jackie Ormes, Lynn Johnston, Liana Finck, Wendy Pini, Kate Salley Palmer, Carta Monir, Alison Bechdel and dozens more.

    Ladies First ushers in the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and calls attention to the transformative work of women artists in the field of cartooning then and now.

  • Drawn to Presidents: Portraits and Satiric Drawings by Drew Friedman Drawn to Presidents: Portraits and Satiric Drawings by Drew Friedman November 2, 2019 - February 9, 2020

    Abraham Lincoln by Drew Friedman (All the Presidents, Fantagraphics, 2019)

    Closed Mondays, during exhibit installations, and holidays. Before your visit, see Hours for all closings. 

    Pennsylvania-based illustrator Drew Friedman has employed his intensely realistic, warts-and-all style of caricature to satirize celebrity and authority for four decades. In his latest book from Fantagraphics, All the Presidents, Friedman points his pen at the exclusive club of the United States presidents.

    This exhibit features the original artwork created by Friedman for All the Presidents, as well as his presidential-themed original art created for, among others, SPY, MAD, TIME, Newsweek, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New York Observer, and TOPPS “Wacky Packs.”

    Building on a centuries-old tradition of cartoonists satirizing those in power, Friedman’s influences include Edward Sorel, Robert Grossman, Mort Drucker, David Levine, and more.

    A reception and program, Spotlight on Drew Friedman (In Conversation with C.F. Payne), to celebrate the opening of this exhibition will be held at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum on Saturday, November 16, 2019 from 4:30 to 7:30 pm. More information on this event is here.

  • Drawing Blood: Comics and Medicine Drawing Blood: Comics and Medicine April 20, 2019 - October 20, 2019

    Rx: A Graphic Memoir by Rachel Lindsay. 2018.

    Closed Mondays, during exhibit installations, and holidays. Before your visit, see Hours for all closings.

    Drawing Blood traces the history of comics’ obsession with medicine from the 18th century to today. The earliest cartoonists frequently satirized a medical practice dominated by bloodletting, purging, and other largely ineffective treatments. Over the next two centuries, modern medicine would go through remarkable transformations. Comics were there for the good and the bad, helping to rebrand the doctor from quack to hero, but also critiquing a medical system that often privileged profits over patients. 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. The exhibit features work by a wide array of creators, from pioneers of cartooning like James Gillray, William Hogarth, Thomas Nast, and Frederick Opper to contemporary greats like Richard Thompson, Carol Tyler, John Porcellino, Alison Bechdel, and Julia Wertz.

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