Past Exhibits

  • Substance and Shadow: The Art of the Cartoon Substance and Shadow: The Art of the Cartoon November 16, 2013 - March 2, 2014

    Substance and Shadow refers to the dual meaning of John Leech’s “Cartoon, No. 1,” but also describes the essence of cartoon art in general. Cartoons are substance and shadow, content and technique. Cartoonists communicate their ideas graphically with bold lines and subtle shading.

    A cartoon is a combination of words and pictures that can tell a story, share a thought, articulate an emotion, promote a point of view, or make people laugh. Cartoonists have mastered an almost limitless vocabulary of graphic expression to entertain and enlighten a mass audience. In spite of the popularity of cartoons, the creative process that cartoonists use to conceive and produce their art still remains a mystery to most of the general public.

    This exhibition showcases original art from the collection of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum which dramatically reveals the various elements, methods, tools and techniques that cartoonists utilize, including caricature, character design, sequential panels, speech balloons page, layout, animation and storytelling.

  • Alternate Views: Perspectives on the American Civil War Alternate Views: Perspectives on the American Civil War May 13, 2013 - July 12, 2013

    The 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War is commemorated in this exhibition which highlights the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum’s growing collection of nineteenth century prints. Editorial cartoons were not published in newspapers until after the Civil War when technology made it possible to publish them economically in a timely way. Prior to that, broadsheet prints – etchings, engravings and lithographs – were the means cartoonists used for political commentary. Popular magazines such as Harper’s Weekly relied on wood engravings to provide illustrations.

  • A. B. Walker's World A. B. Walker's World January 22, 2013 - April 26, 2013

    Alanson Burton Walker was a very successful magazine cartoonist working at the beginning of 20th century.  His work was much in demand and he drew for all the important magazines of the time–Life, Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, Saturday Evening Post, Judge and Collier’s–where he created gentle, wry cartoons on issues of the day.

  • Line Dancing Line Dancing September 5, 2012 - December 30, 2012

    Line Dancing surveys dance in cartoon art to celebrate the renovation of Sullivant Hall, the future home of both the Department of Dance and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.  From a 1788 print of A Cotillion – the precursor to the American square dance – to modern works like a Jules Feiffer dancer and a jig from Charles Schulz’ Snoopy, these figures dance across history and across the page. Be it a literal depiction of dance as an event in time or the symbol of dance as metaphor, the works in this exhibit are moving, just like our library!

  • Remembering Ding Remembering Ding May 15, 2012 - August 24, 2012

    Jay N. “Ding” Darling (1876-1962) was regarded by many as America’s greatest political cartoonist during the first half of the twentieth century. A two-time Pulitzer winner, Ding repeatedly topped popularity polls throughout the Twenties and Thirties. He was also an influential conservationist and visionary founder of the National Wildlife Federation, and both conceived of and illustrated the first Federal Duck Stamp. The Jay N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida, is named in his honor. For more than four decades, he drew for the Des Moines Register and his cartoons were syndicated around the country for millions to see. Ding was a fiercely independent spirit and a progressive Republican who followed his conscience, not party dogma. This led him to take many surprising stands, such as impassioned support for the League of Nations.

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