Past Exhibits

  • 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.

  • Front Line: Editorial Cartoonists and the First Amendment Front Line: Editorial Cartoonists and the First Amendment April 20, 2019 - October 20, 2019

    Pillars by Jimmy Margulies. August 16, 2018.

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

    What do current debates about social media, trigger warnings, fake news, and libel have to do with the First Amendment and editorial cartoonists?

    Editorial cartoonists both benefit from and defend First Amendment speech and press protections. This exhibition examines free speech through historical works from the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum’s collections as well as contemporary works by members of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

  • Tell Me a Story Where the Bad Girl Wins: The Life and Art of Barbara Shermund Tell Me a Story Where the Bad Girl Wins: The Life and Art of Barbara Shermund November 3, 2018 - March 31, 2019

    “Gosh- he loves you more than he does me -” c. 1930s. International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection.

    Barbara Shermund is an unheralded early master of gag cartooning. Her sharp wit and loose style boldly tapped the zeitgeist of first-wave feminism with vivid characters that were alive and astute. Shermund’s women spoke their minds about sex, marriage, and society; smoked cigarettes and drank; and poked fun at everything in an era when it was not common to see young women doing so.

    In Liza Donnelly’s book Funny Ladies, she writes, “What comes through in many of the cartoons is that Shermund’s women did not need men.”

  • Tales from la Vida: Latinx Comics Tales from la Vida: Latinx Comics November 3, 2018 - March 31, 2019

    The Latinx comics community is growing and diversifying—and rapidly. This exhibition features autobiographical short stories situated within the language, culture, and history that inform Latinx identity and life. The work showcases the huge variety of styles and worldviews of today’s Latinx comics creators, including such legendary artists as Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Roberta Gregory, and Kat Fajardo. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the publication of Tales from la Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology, edited by Dr. Frederick Luis Aldama and published by the Ohio State University Press.

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