Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public contact: Sara Duke (202) 707-3630

February 26, 2013

“Herblock Looks at 1963” Exhibition Opens March 30

In 1963, during the third and final year of his presidency, John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) faced repeated opposition to legislative initiatives—the nuclear test ban treaty with the Soviet Union, tax cuts to reduce economic stagnation, efforts to increase resources for schoolchildren and protection of the wilderness. Also in 1963, through the "March on Washington" on Aug. 28, the civil rights movement gained momentum.

Herblock, the award-winning editorial cartoonist for the Washington Post, addressed all these topics. His drawings will be on view in the exhibition "Herblock Looks at 1963: Fifty Years Ago in Editorial Cartoons," opening Saturday, March 30, 2013, at the Library of Congress in the Graphic Arts Galleries on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The 10-cartoon exhibition, which runs through Sept. 14, 2013, is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

The exhibition is located in the Herblock Gallery, part of the Graphic Arts Galleries, which celebrates the work of Herbert L. Block with rotating displays of 10 original drawings. The display changes every six months. A second set of drawings from 1963 will be placed on exhibition from Sept. 21, 2013 to March 22, 2014.

Cartoons on view will include "We Can’t Burden Our Children with Deficit Spending," which Herblock created to challenge Congress not to cut funding for education, because the result would be ignorance, poverty and crime. Also on view will be "Reminds Me of That Crazy Idea of Henry Ford’s That You Can Make More Selling at Lower Prices," which depicts legislators as old-fashioned businessmen out of step with the times. Herblock penned the drawing in response to Republican congressmen who challenged Kennedy to reduce spending rather than cut taxes to spur productivity.

Herblock actively promoted civil rights for African Americans during the 1960s. On Aug. 28, 1963, the cartoonist sat in the press tent as the crowd grew around him for the "March on Washington." His support is evident in the drawing "Conceived in Liberty and Dedicated to The Proposition That All Men Are Created Equal."

Herblock was a four-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He spent more than 55 years at the Washington Post, taking on political corruption wherever he saw it and championing the rights of "the little guy."

The Herb Block Foundation donated a collection of more than 14,000 original cartoon drawings and 50,000 rough sketches, as well as manuscripts, to the Library of Congress in 2002, and has generously continued to provide funds to support ongoing programming.

The Library has been collecting original cartoon art for more than 140 years. It is a major center for cartoon research with holdings of more than 100,000 original cartoon drawings and prints. These works, housed in the Prints and Photographs Division, span five centuries and range from 17th-century Dutch political prints to 21st-century contemporary comic strips.

The Prints and Photographs Division holds the largest-known collection of American political prints, the finest assemblage of British satirical prints outside Great Britain and holdings of original drawings by generations of America’s best cartoonists and illustrators that are unequaled in breadth and depth. Extensive runs of rare satirical and comic journals from Europe and the United States represent another distinguishing facet. The Library acquired these materials through a variety of sources including artists’ gifts, donations by private collectors, selective purchases and copyright registration.

For sample images from "Herblock Looks at 1963," contact Donna Urschel at (202) 707-1639.

# # #

PR 13-036
02/26/13
ISSN 0731-3527

Back to top