Past 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 22, 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.

  • Cartoon Couture Cartoon Couture November 4, 2017 - April 22, 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. 

  • Tales From the Vault: 40 Years / 40 Stories Tales From the Vault: 40 Years / 40 Stories March 25, 2017 - October 22, 2017

    Celebrating 40 Years at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

    Explore 40 stories about fascinating collectors, groundbreaking comics, controversial cartoons, influential characters, innovative cartoonists, and more from 40 years of collecting at The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. This exhibition will feature a selection of works spanning over 250 years and the tales that bring them to life. From Civil War era magic lantern slides to the underground comix women’s liberation movement, learn the stories behind the storytellers and the tales that BICLM is dedicated to preserving.

  • Founding Collections: 1977-1987 Founding Collections: 1977-1987 March 25, 2017 - October 22, 2017

    Celebrating 40 Years at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

    This exhibition celebrates the story of the library’s founding and its first decade of collecting, beginning with works from its original collections, the archives of Milton Caniff, creator of Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon and illustrator Jon Whitcomb. The tale continues with important national figures in the history of American cartoon art such as pioneering licensing agent Toni Mendez, and preeminent cartoonists Will Eisner, Edwina Dumm, and Walt Kelly, whose early donations helped to establish Ohio State University as the premier institutional collector of comics and cartoon art. The exhibit will also feature art and archival materials from OSU alumni, Ohio cartoonists, student cartoonists from The Lantern, and the Archives of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and the National Cartoonists Society.

  • Windows On Death Row: Art from Inside and Outside the Prison Walls Windows On Death Row: Art from Inside and Outside the Prison Walls November 5, 2016 - March 12, 2017

    In Death Penalty We Trust by Patrick Chappatte

    Windows on Death Row features over 70 works of art by famous American political cartoonists, as well as from a more unlikely source, death row inmates. Using art as a tool for social awareness, this exhibition opens a window into an often hidden part of the ongoing conversation about capital punishment – exploring the system through the eyes of the incarcerated. At a moment when our country is becoming ever more polarized regarding racial injustice and economic inequality, the questions that this exhibition raises could not be more timely. This traveling exhibit is presented by Patrick Chappatte, Anne-Frédérique Widmann, and Anne Hromadka.

    Warning: Windows on Death Row contains content that may be inappropriate for children

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