Past Exhibits

  • Scenes of My Infint-hood: Celebrating the Birth of Krazy Kat Scenes of My Infint-hood: Celebrating the Birth of Krazy Kat September 7, 2010 - December 31, 2010

    Exactly one hundred years ago, George Herriman drew a little mouse “beaning” a black cat at the bottom of his comic strip, The Dingbat Family.  This simple little comic-within-a-comic marks the birth of Krazy Kat, considered one of the greatest newspaper comic strips ever created. In honor of Krazy’s centennial, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum will feature the exhibition Scenes of My Infint-hood: Celebrating the Birth of Krazy Kat.

    The exhibition will explore the world of newspaper comics at the time of Krazy’s birth and “infint-hood,” including examples of the Herriman’s early cartoons and those of his friends and colleagues. It will also document the evolution of Krazy, from a fixture at the bottom of The Dingbat Family to a vertical daily comic strip to a full-page Sunday masterpiece. Examples of Herriman’s original art will be featured, along with historical newspaper pages and clippings from the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection that show Herriman’s work. Viewers will be able to see the comics in their original format and context, as they were actually consumed by their contemporary audience.

  • Ireland of the Dispatch Ireland of the Dispatch September 7, 2010 - February 27, 2011

    During the first three decades of the twentieth century, cartoonist Billy Ireland enjoyed a national readership from his home base at the Columbus Dispatch. He was known both for his editorial cartoons and for “The Passing Show,” an illustrated full-page color Sunday commentary on current events. Ireland supported environmental concerns before being “green” was in vogue and he was influential in the development of what is now Civic Center Drive in Columbus. Another major contribution was his generous mentoring of young cartoonists such as Milton Caniff. This exhibit documents Ireland’s career through original cartoon art, photographs, correspondence and related materials.

  • Drawn On Stone: Political Prints from the 1830s and 1840s Drawn On Stone: Political Prints from the 1830s and 1840s March 19, 2010 - December 19, 2010

    Drawn on Stone explores American political cartooning during the tumultuous Jacksonian era. The exhibition features thirty rare satirical lithographs recently acquired by the Cartoon Research Library with help from the William J. Studer endowment. This extraordinary collection illustrates the surge in the creation and distribution of political cartoon broadsides made possible by the relative ease and speed of the new print-making process of lithography. Several cartoons not found in other major print collections are included.

  • Winsor McCay: Legendary Cartoonist Winsor McCay: Legendary Cartoonist September 15, 2009 - December 31, 2009

    Winsor McCay was an unusually prolific cartoonist. More than thirty comic strip titles and ten animated films are credited to him. The decade between 1903 and 1913 was his most creative period. His biographer, John Canemaker, states, “…when the American comic strip was in its infancy, McCay became the first master of the form with two unsurpassed works of genius, Dream of the Rarebit Fiend…and Little Nemo in Slumberland.” In addition, McCay was an important pioneer animator and a popular vaudeville performer.

  • From Yellow Kid to Conan: American Cartoons from the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection June 28, 2009 - August 7, 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 officially 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.

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