- Treasures from the Collections of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum June 19, 2021 - October 31, 2021
This permanent exhibit features a selection of exceptional artwork and artifacts highlighting the breadth and depth of our collections.
- Into the Swamp: The Social and Political Satire of Walt Kelly’s Pogo June 19, 2021 - October 31, 2021
Walt Kelly’s newspaper comic strip Pogo was a platform for political satire and commentary using a motley group of swamp critters. Kelly tackled many of the political issues of the world in which he lived, from the Red Scare to civil rights, the environment, scientific exploration, and consumerism. We celebrate Walt Kelly and his social commentary through the joyous, poignant, and occasionally profound insights and beauty of the alternative universe that is Pogo. Working in the mid-twentieth century, Kelly drew on the legacy of earlier generations of newspaper cartoonists and then became a major influence on his successors.
This exhibition primarily features art and archival materials from the Walt Kelly Collection, which was donated to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum by Selby Kelly. It also showcases artwork from the collection of Doonesbury cartoonist Garry B. Trudeau, which he generously donated to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in 2020.
Co-curated by Lucy Shelton Caswell, Professor Emerita and Founding Curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, and Jenny E. Robb, Curator & Associate Professor.
Image credit: Walt Kelly. Pogo, April 21, 1971. Publishers-Hall Syndicate. Reprinted by permission.
- The Dog Show: Two Centuries of Canine Cartoons June 19, 2021 - October 31, 2021
Humans and dogs have a special relationship that goes back to our earliest encounters. There is evidence of an enduring graphic legacy of dogs in art. An 8,000-year-old petroglyph mural recently discovered in the Arabian Desert depicts dogs with leashes helping a hunter who is holding a bow. Dogs continue to take on roles as loyal companions, dedicated workers, and talented performers. Today, canines are also celebrated icons of popular literature, art, and culture.
- Dark Laughter Revisited: The Life and Times of Ollie Harrington November 13, 2021 - May 8, 2022
Throughout his career, Oliver “Ollie” Harrington (1912-1995) used his voice and artistic talents as a cartoonist to attack racial, economic and social injustice with razor-sharp wit and insight. Speaking from the perspective of a cartoonist of color, his commentary chronicles many of the events and issues that defined the 20th century, from segregation and apartheid, to war and poverty. Harrington’s life and career intersected with the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights movement, the Black émigré community in Paris after WWII, and communist East Germany. Many of Harrington’s cartoons remain relevant and speak to problems that sadly are still unresolved in contemporary times.
- Power Lines: Comics and the Environment November 13, 2021 - May 8, 2022
At the start of the 21st century, the term Anthropocene was coined to describe a new geological epoch defined by humanity’s transformation of the natural world. Scientists have long known that human beings have a complex relationship to the world we inhabit. We survive and thrive thanks to the earth’s many resources, but we also cause irreparable harm to the planet. This exhibit surveys over 100 years of comics that depict the pleasures and dangers of human interaction with the environment. Comics have captured it all—including fears about pollution, the celebration of nature preserves, anger at the failures of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the recognition of the ways environmental destruction and global warming disproportionately affect people of color.
Curated by Jared Gardner and Elizabeth Hewitt.
Art by Peter Kuper from his graphic novel Ruins published by SefMadeHero, 2015. Used with permission.