Past Exhibits

  • Dick Tracy: Chester Gould's Blueprint Expressionism Dick Tracy: Chester Gould's Blueprint Expressionism March 2, 2011 - September 2, 2011

    The Reading Room Gallery
    March 2, 2011 – September 2, 2011
     

    This year marks the 80th anniversary of Chester Gould’s celebrated comic strip, Dick Tracy. From 1931 to 1977, Gould (1900-1985) wrote and drew the popular continuity strip about a tough, intelligent, and incorruptible police detective who battles a parade of increasingly strange and grotesque villains.

    The items in the exhibition were chosen by artist and author Art Spiegelman, a Wexner Center Residency Award recipient, with Jenny Robb, curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. According to Spiegelman, Dick Tracy “brought the front-page violence of the prohibition-era tabloids to the back of the newspaper. In today’s blood-soaked entertainment culture it’s hard to realize just how extravagantly brutal the original Dick Tracy must have seemed to its tens of millions of daily readers in the 1930s and 40s. It was The Sopranos of its day, but without the moral ambiguity.”

    Spiegelman’s selections highlight Gould’s unique graphic style. He explains that “Gould coupled the precision of blueprints to the emotional intensity of the German Expressionist art taking place on the other side of the Atlantic… and he created a kind of Blueprint Expressionism.” Spiegelman will discuss Gould and his iconic creation within the greater context of comics’ history on Thursday, May 19 at 4:00 pm in the Wexner Film/Video Theater. Seehttp://www.wexarts.org/get_involved/osu/?eventid=5621 for more information.

    Dick Tracy: Chester Gould’s Blueprint Expressionism is on display from May 2 – August 19, 2011 and includes original comic strip art from the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection and vintage newspaper pages and clippings from the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection. Examples of knock-offs, spoofs, and homages to Dick Tracy will also be featured including Al Capp’s character Fearless Fosdick, who appeared in L’il Abner.

    About Art Spiegelman: Art Spiegelman won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for his graphic novelMaus.  He also co-founded the avant-garde comics magazine RAW in 1980 and worked as staff artist and writer for the New Yorker from 1993-2003. Recently, McSweeney’s published a collection of his notebooks called Be A Nose and he co-edited A Toon Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics, both released in 2009.  In the fall of 2011, Pantheon will publish Meta Maus, a companion to The Complete Maus. See http://www.barclayagency.com/spiegelman.html for more information.

  • A Gallery of Rogues: Cartoonists' Self-caricatures A Gallery of Rogues: Cartoonists' Self-caricatures January 15, 2011 - April 15, 2011

    The Reading Room Gallery
    January 15, 2011 – April 15, 2011
     

    Mark J. Cohen, 1942-1999, started collecting cartoons when he was fourteen. His interest in self-caricatures by cartoonists grew from the chance discovery of an exhibition catalogue of artists’ self-portraits in a used book store. The collection of cartoonists’ self-caricatures that resulted, thought to be the largest collection of its kind, was bequeathed to The Ohio State University by Cohen.

    For many years, portions of Cohen’s self-caricature collection toured in three different national exhibitions, including one organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. In the introduction to the exhibition catalogue for The Face Behind the Laugh, Cohen wrote, “Some of the cartoonists’ self -caricatures offer an interesting glimpse into how they see themselves relating to their work.” Visitors to this exhibit are encouraged to look carefully to find these connections in the self-caricatures that are displayed. Among the cartoonists whose self-caricatures are included are Charles Schulz (Peanuts), Jim Borgman (Zits), and underground cartoonist R. Crumb.

    The title for this exhibit was provided by Milton Caniff in a letter to Cohen after he had seen an exhibit of the self-caricatures in 1976: “I greatly enjoyed my look at the self-portraits. All of us rogues in one gallery!”

  • Let the Games Begin: A Century of Sports Cartoons Let the Games Begin: A Century of Sports Cartoons January 15, 2011 - April 9, 2011

    The Reading Room Gallery
    January 15, 2011 – April 9, 2011
     

    More than 50 sports cartoons will be on display as part of the exhibition Let the Games Begin:  A Century of Sports Cartoons, on view at The Ohio State University’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum from January 15 – April 9. The exhibition features original drawings by some of the most prolific and influential cartoon artists of the past century and includes likenesses of a wide variety of sports figures including Jack Dempsey, Dizzy Dean, Ted Williams, Willie Shoemaker, as well Ohio State athletics.

    Editorial cartoons have a long history but the sports cartoon, as we know it now, evolved as a fixture on the sports page as athletic endeavors became more and more of a ubiquitous form of popular entertainment.  Before television and higher-speed photography, sports cartoons were an important way for a commentator to communicate to the public the personalities on the field or to sum up an achievement or brewing controversy.

    The cartoons featured in Let the Games Begin:  A Century of Sports Cartoons span the twentieth century from a time when boxing and horse racing captured the nation’s undivided attention to the end of the century and beyond, long after any remaining shreds of purity and innocence had been stripped from the public’s collective perception of the athletes it followed and admired. Drawn from several of the Cartoon Library’s collections, the works featured in this exhibit were published in newspapers from all over the United States. Artists featured in the exhibition include Willard Mullin, Arnold Roth, William Summers, Karl Hubenthal, the Columbus Dispatch’s Jeff Stahler, and more.

    “Historic sports cartoon provide a wonderful window into the past. We are fortunate to have such rich holdings of these works in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum,” stated Lucy Shelton Caswell, Professor and Curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

    Let the Games Begin:  A Century of Sports Cartoons was co-curated by Caswell and David Filipi, Curator of Film/Video, at the Wexner Center for the Arts. The exhibition was funded in part by the operating endowment of The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. A free exhibit brochure featuring an essay by David Filipi is available upon request. Caswell and Filipi co-curated the exhibition Jeff Smith:  Bone and Beyond at the Wexner Center for the Arts in 2008.

    Let the Games Begin :  A Century of Sports Cartoons is in conjunction with Hard Targets, an exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts from January 30 through April 11, 2010.

     

     

  • 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

    The Reading Room Gallery
    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 from September 7- December 31, 2010 in its Reading Room Gallery.

    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

    The Ohio State University Thompson Library Gallery
    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.

    In 2009 the Elizabeth Ireland Graves Foundation gave $7 million to The Ohio State University in honor of Billy Ireland. In recognition of this generous gift, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum was established, expanding the mission of the facility that was created when Milton Caniff donated his papers to create a research library devoted to cartoon art. With this exhibition we celebrate the life and work of Billy Ireland, one of the nation’s most creative and productive cartoonists.

    This exhibit is free and open to the public.Thompson Library Gallery hours are Monday-Wednesday 10 am – 6 pm, Thursday 10 am – 8 pm, Friday 10 am – 6 pm, Saturday-Sunday noon – 5 pm. Public parking for Thompson Library is available in the Neil Avenue Garage or the Ohio Union Garage. Additional information about Billy Ireland may be found at http://www.wosu.org/artzine-video/?date=03/16/2009&id=0 

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