Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

April 12, 1995

Exhibition of Original Cartoon Strip Drawings Opens May 5

"Featuring the Funnies: 100 Years of the Comic Strip," an exhibition of approximately 90 drawings and published comic strips, opens in the foyer of the Library of Congress Madison Building on Friday, May 5. The Madison Building is located at 101 Independence Ave. S.E. (Capitol South Metro). Hours are Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The exhibition is one of a number of events planned in association with the Newspaper Features Council, Inc. to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first color newspaper comic created for the New York World which featured the legendary "Yellow Kid." The Library's exhibition will present selected comic strip drawings spanning the first 100 years of the American cartoon strip, along with commentary documenting the relationship of the cartoons to contemporary affairs and events, diverse political ideologies, or trends in fine art and popular culture. All the great cartoon masters and their strips will be represented -- R. F. Outcault's "Yellow Kid," Winsor McCay's "Little Nemo in Slumberland," George Herriman's "Krazy Kat," Harold Gray's "Little Orphan Annie," and Chester Gould's "Dick Tracy," among them. The comic strip's further development will be traced through drawings by pioneering women cartoonists such as Grace Drayton and Virginia Huget, and by later comic art legends including Hal Foster, Milton Caniff, Burne Hogarth, and Dale Messick. To provide comprehensive coverage of the first 100 years of the comic strip, several works by contemporary cartoonists have been borrowed from the collections of the International Museum of Cartoon Art, now under construction in Boca Raton, Florida.

The Library of Congress collections contain outstanding holdings of original cartoon drawings. During the 1970s, the Library acquired the Erwin Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoons, then considered the finest group of cartoon drawings in private hands. The Swann Collection includes more than 2,000 cartoons and caricatures. More recently, the Library acquired the George Sturman Collection, a smaller, but particularly fine, collection that, like the Swann Collection, spans the history and development of the American cartoon strip. In addition to the Sturman and Swann collections are several archives donated to the Library by individual cartoonists, including those of "Pogo" creator Walt Kelly and Garry Trudeau, creator of "Doonesbury." Together with vintage newspapers preserved in the Newspaper and Current Periodicals Division, the Library's collections represent the broad spectrum of American cartoon art.

This exhibition and publication were prepared with funds provided by the Erwin and Caroline Swann Memorial Fund for Caricature and Cartoon. The Swann Fund supports an ongoing program of preservation, publication, exhibition, and acquisition in the field of cartoon, caricature, and illustration.

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PR 95-057
4/7/95
ISSN 0731-3527

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