Pat Oliphant won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1966, just two years after he left his native Australia for an American career. Now, thirty years later, he is considered among the most gifted practitioners in the history of the profession. He has caricatured seven United States presidents, from Lyndon Johnson to Bill Clinton, and offered provocative graphic commentary on salient social and political issues of the past three decades, including Watergate, Vietnam, the collapse of communism in Europe, and the Gulf War. Few artists have done as much to influence the form and content of contemporary American political cartoons.
Oliphant weds two great traditions in political cartooning: the subtle wit and detailed artistry of the British tradition with the more blunt, spare style that persists in America. At the Library of Congress his cartoons and sketchbooks will be preserved alongside the most extensive collection of American political prints in existence, one of the finest assemblages of English satirical prints outside Great Britain, and thousands of original works by the most influential European and American cartoonists from the seventeenth century forward. When asked what it means to be included in this august company, Oliphant responded, "to be in these collections is, to me, every award I could possibly want."