Herblock Gallery

Herblock Gallery at the Library of Congress

New Library of Congress Exhibition: “Art in Action: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times

February 7, 2019

The following is a guest post by exhibition co-curators Katherine Blood, Curator of Fine Prints, and Martha H. Kennedy, Curator of Popular & Applied Graphic Art, Prints & Photographs Division.

A new Library of Congress exhibition, “Art in Action: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times,” features selections from the Library’s signature collection of original drawings by renowned editorial cartoonist Herbert Block (known as Herblock; 1909-2001) alongside political prints, posters, and drawings in which other artists comment on the defining sociopolitical issues of their times. In addition to the display in the Library’s Jefferson Building Graphic Arts Galleries, an online version is available. Key topics that drew Herblock’s attention provide the organizing framework for the exhibition and include civil rights, gender and women’s rights, health, environment, the impact of war, refugees, education, and the role of media. The show features 39 items, including 12 drawings by Herblock and works by 25 other artists, all from the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division.

Herb Block. <em>No more lessons, Pablo?</em>, 4-10-1973. Drawing published in The Washington Post, April 10, 1973. © Herb Block Foundation. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hlb.08198

Herb Block. No more lessons, Pablo?, 4-10-1973. Drawing published in The Washington Post, April 10, 1973. © Herb Block Foundation. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hlb.08198

The exhibition reaches back across the centuries to situate Herblock’s work within the art historical context of social commentary by great masters of the past, including Jacques Callot (1592-1635), Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945), and Leopoldo Méndez (1902-1969). Herblock’s journalistic art work is paired with works by modern and contemporary artists, including Eric Avery, Sandow Birk, Alexander Calder, Enrique Chagoya, Shepard Fairey, Juan Fuentes, Kerry James Marshall, John Isaiah Pepion, Favianna Rodriguez, Helen Zughaib, and others.

Herblock trained at the Art Institute of Chicago where he developed his drawing skills and studied art history, which he effectively channeled in his cartoons. For example, days after the death of Pablo Picasso, well-known for his epic anti-war painting Guernica, Herblock acknowledged the elder artist’s larger-than-life impact on the art world in his drawing No more lessons, Pablo? (right)

Giving a different perspective on the impact of war, Enrique Chagoya explores the idea that history is told by winners of wars even as he questions and counters received wisdom. His codex book Return of the Macrobiotic Cannibal (below) weaves a time-warping narrative of cultures clashing in which Pre-Columbian mythological beings appear alongside American comic book characters.

Enrique Chagoya. El regreso del cannibal macrobiotico/Return of the Macrobiotic Cannibal, 1998 print. © Enrique Chagoya, used by permission. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55806

Enrique Chagoya. El regreso del cannibal macrobiotico/Return of the Macrobiotic Cannibal, 1998 print. © Enrique Chagoya, used by permission. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55806

Herblock’s drawing captioned simply Race (below left) is a riveting metaphor for the crisis in racial relations in America. By showing the figure of Progress pulling ahead of his angry-looking brother Violence, Herblock signals hope for continuing gains in civil rights for all during 1968, a year of turbulence unleashed by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A generation later, Kerry James Marshall pays somber tribute to the champions and martyrs of the 1960s Civil Rights movement with his 1997 lithograph Memento (below right), which shows portraits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy on a mourning banner. Above, wearing gold wings, are Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, four young girls killed in the 1963 Birmingham Church bombing, Civil Rights workers, and Black Panther members. In the foreground, a woman carrying flowers stands with her body symbolically turned toward history and her face turned toward present and future viewers.

 

Herb Block. <em>Race</em>, 1968. Drawing published in the Washington Post, May, 28, 1968. © Herb Block Foundation. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.19989

Herb Block. Race, 1968. Drawing published in The Washington Post, May, 28, 1968. © Herb Block Foundation. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.19989

 

Kerry James Marshall. <em>Memento</em>, 1997 print. © Kerry James Marshall. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.15970

Kerry James Marshall. Memento, 1997 print. © Kerry James Marshall. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.15970

Issues of health and the environment also figure notably in the work of socially conscious artists including cartoonists. Herblock quit smoking when he was not allowed to have cigarettes while recovering from a heart attack in 1959. This experience and reports giving facts on the deadly hazard posed by smoking undoubtedly played into the creation of his chilling scene of the Grim Reaper offering a smoker a light in I’m still cutting down, too (below left) from 1965.

The danger of smoking also features in Sandow Birk’s darkly satirical etching Malignant Neoplasms (Cancer) (below right) from his series Ten Leading Causes of Death in America (2005). In this image, Birk shows a harried office worker who smokes while typing at a computer. Birk enhances the sense of health hazards in the surrounding sources of stress and a fast food meal. The title alludes to a sinister future for this anxious-looking figure.

 

Herb Block. <em>"I'm still cutting down, too,"</em> 1965. Drawing published in the Washington Post, 1/13/1965. © Herb Block Foundation. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hlb.06237

Herb Block. “I’m still cutting down, too,” 1965. Drawing published in The Washington Post, 1/13/1965. © Herb Block Foundation. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hlb.06237

 

Sandow Birk. <em>Malignant Neoplasms (Cancer)</em>, 2005 print. (Ten Leading Causes of Death in America series). Print. © Sandow Birk, Courtesy of the Artist and Koplin Del Rio Gallery, used by permission. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55796

Sandow Birk. Malignant Neoplasms (Cancer), 2005 print. (Ten Leading Causes of Death in America series). Print. © Sandow Birk, Courtesy of the Artist and Koplin Del Rio Gallery, used by permission. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.55796

All of these artists have responded to urgent issues by creating imagery with powerful potential to move viewers to think, feel, and sometimes take action. Strikingly, Herblock and many of the artists in the exhibition have purposefully referenced historical and artistic precedents in their works, showing how the impulse to comment on such causes as social justice and human rights through art has a long history and continues to resonate today. The exhibited artworks highlight how prescient Herblock proved to be in pinpointing issues that fellow artists have also felt compelled to address. Collectively, they reflect the long arc of history engaged with issue-driven art and the wider condition of being human.

Art in Action: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times” is part of a Library of Congress yearlong initiative in 2019 to invite visitors to Explore America’s Changemakers. The year will include a variety of events and two forthcoming exhibitions featuring the Library’s collections related to important figures in women’s history and the fight for suffrage and Rosa Parks’ groundbreaking role in the civil rights movement.

Articles on the "Art in Action "exhibit include: The Guardian : HoyLosAngeles  in Spanish

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On Exhibit: Herblock Looks at 1968

  (blog by Sara Duke)

The Herblock Gallery in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress now offers visitors an opportunity to examine the heady year 1968 through the eyes of a cartoonist. Herb Block – better known to newspaper readers as Herblock – drew editorial cartoons for the Washington Post from 1946 to 2001. Fifty years ago, he reacted to events and issues we continue to wrestle with today: the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War and the election of Richard M. Nixon.

Refusing to shy away from controversy, Herblock used the power of his pen with bitter anger six days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis on April 4, 1968, to lambast the National Rifle Association and gun dealers.

Click on the link above to view the current exhibit


View an interview with Sara Duke, Popular and Applied Graphic Art Curator at the Library of Congress discuss the Herblock cartoon Collection for American History TV for American Artifacts!


On exhibit: September 16, 2017–March 10, 2018

Herblock Looks at 1967: Fifty Years Ago in Editorial Cartoons, Part II

In 1967, during the third year of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration, Herblock addressed his long-held beliefs about the environment and protecting the poor through his cartoons. Having been raised to look out for the little guy, he extolled people whose investigations led to better quality products and equipment to protect consumers. Herblock supported regulations that improved accountability in the pharmaceutical industry and applauded efforts to make drug prices fair. He used his cartoons to promote consumer advocate Ralph Nader’s work to make the automobile and meat packing industries safer. As a reformed smoker, the cartoonist promoted the Federal Trade Commission’s stricter advertising guidelines for cigarette companies.

Herblock focused on international affairs as well. He advocated for less bombing in Vietnam and disparaged military strategy by invoking Charles Schulz’s beloved character, Snoopy in the role of the Red Baron. After the Six-Day War, after Gamal Abdel Nasser and his pan-Arab nationalists suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Israel, Herblock caricatured the Egyptian president.

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Herblock Looks at 1967: Fifty Years Ago in Editorial Cartoons

Exhibition dates: March 18, 2017–September 9, 2017

In 1967, during the third year of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s (1908–1973) administration, Herblock drew some of his most powerful cartoons on issues about which he cared deeply. He continued to voice his strong concerns about environmental conditions and gun control legislation. Alarmed by the government’s secret actions against its citizens, Herblock exposed corruption. He advocated for less bombing in Vietnam, and more accountability on the part of the military. Not only focused on domestic policy, Herblock cautioned against revenge from international trading partners for changes in tariffs.

A cause that greatly disturbed him was racial inequality and the government’s lack of progress in dealing with conditions that affected the urban poor. During the summer of 1967, riots erupted in large and small cities as slum dwellers chafed at the lack of economic opportunity, inadequate living conditions, and police brutality. In spite of Johnson’s lauded War on Poverty, Herblock decried that the program had been underfunded and was infuriated by the unwillingness of Congress to make aid to the poor a top priority.


“Pointing Their Pens: Herblock and Fellow Cartoonists Confront the Issues”
Exhibition Opened March 21, 2015

An exhibition at the Library of Congress looked at how editorial cartoonists, often with divergent viewpoints, interpreted the divisive issues of the 20th century—the U.S. intervention into World War II, McCarthyism, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal and events in the Middle East.

“Pointing Their Pens: Herblock and Fellow Cartoonists Confront the Issues” opened on Saturday, March 21, 2015 in the Graphic Arts Galleries on the ground level of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition was free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It closed on March 19, 2016.

The exhibition was made possible through the generous support of the Herb Block Foundation.

“Pointing Their Pens” offered viewers an opportunity to experience the work of Herbert L. Block (1909-2001)—commonly known as Herblock—alongside the work of his contemporaries over a period of four decades. Featuring 30 cartoons, the exhibition allowed for comparisons of the ways in which cartoonists react to and interpret current events, develop their own distinct visual vocabularies and convey their diverse political opinions. “Pointing Their Pens” was divided into six sections—World War II, Red Scare, Cold War, Vietnam War, Nixon and Middle East—with each section included two cartoons by Herblock and three by his contemporaries.

The exhibition was anchored by selections from the Library’s Herbert L. Block Collection of more than 14,000 drawings, donated to the Library by the Herb Block Foundation in 2002. Herblock was a Pulitzer-Prize winning political cartoonist at The Washington Post for more than 55 years. The exhibition also drew heavily on the Art Wood Collection of Cartoon and Caricature, which comprises more than 17,000 original editorial cartoon drawings by hundreds of men and women, donated to the Library in 2001.

An online version of “Pointing Their Pens” is available at www.loc.gov/exhibits/.

“Pointing Their Pens” was located in one of the three exhibition spaces of the Graphic Arts Galleries. The other spaces are the Swann Gallery and the Herblock Gallery, which continually displays a changing array of 10 Herblock cartoons from 50 years ago.

The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division includes more than 15 million photographs, drawings and prints from the 15th century to the present day. The holdings include 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. The Library acquired these materials through a variety of sources including artists’ gifts, donations by private collectors, selective purchases and copyright registration. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/print/.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.


Herblock Looks at 1964: Fifty Years Ago in Editorial Cartoons

HERBLOCK AT HALF-CENTURY: Library of Congress show illuminates cartoonist's brillance in 1963 - by Michael Cavna (Comic Riffs in The Washington Post, 5/21/2013)

“Herblock Looks at 1963” Exhibition Opens March 30, 2013

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.

Public contact: Sara Duke (202) 707-3630; [email protected]


August 20, 2012 / Opened at Library of Congress on Sept. 22
“Down to Earth: Herblock and Photographers Observe the Environment”

Throughout his 72-year career, Herblock, the award-winning cartoonist at The Washington Post, revealed a concern and passion for the environment. His cartoons, along with photographs on environmental issues by 12 American photographers, will be showcased in a new exhibition at the Library of Congress.

“Down to Earth: Herblock and Photographers Observe the Environment” opens on Saturday, Sept. 22 in the Graphic Arts Galleries on the ground level of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, the exhibition closes on Saturday, March 23, 2013.

The exhibition will offer new perspectives with which to observe the planet. The cartoons and photographs on display are compelling compositions, because their creators intended to provoke reaction and inspire change.

The inspiration for “Down to Earth” comes from Herbert L. Block (1909-2001), commonly called Herblock, and his long-standing support for protecting the environment. A four-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Herblock was the chief editorial cartoonist at The Washington Post, where he worked for more than 55 years.

The exhibition features 15 Herblock cartoons and 17 photographs. Although the visual techniques used in photography and cartooning differ, both types of media can address such themes as the spread of toxins, water pollution, the negative effects of oil drilling, global warming, deforestation, exploitation of wetlands and overconsumption.

Sam Kittner’s photographs vividly document the outrage of demonstrators in Louisiana over toxic-waste dumping. Other images are more subtle, such as Olaf Otto Becker’s beautiful image of a blue river in Greenland that shows the effects of global warming and acid rain.

Herblock’s cartoons rely on humor, irony and sarcasm. One of the drawings on display, from 2001, shows two businessmen smoking cigars and looking at oil derricks on the Alaskan landscape. It is titled “We Could Compromise and Paint Them Green.” Another drawing, created in 1998, shows a beleaguered man, seen through the heat waves of a blazing sun. He is carrying a coat on one arm and is holding up a newspaper with the headline “Environmental Groups Warn of Global Warming.” It is titled “All Right, All Right – I Believe It.”

An online version of “Down to Earth” will be available on Saturday, Sept. 22, at http://myloc.gov/Exhibitions/herblock-down-to-earth/.

“Down to Earth” is located in one of the three exhibition spaces of the Graphic Arts Galleries. The other spaces are the Swann Gallery and the Herblock Gallery. Three gallery talks about “Down to Earth” are scheduled in October. At noon on Wednesday, Oct. 3, and at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 17, curators Sara Duke and Carol Johnson will talk about the works featured in the exhibition. At noon on Thursday, Oct. 11, photographer Robert Coppola will talk about his work.

Most of the photographs displayed in “Down to Earth” are part of the Kent and Marcia Minichiello Collection at the Library of Congress, which contains 350 contemporary works by more than 20 American photographers. The collection presents ongoing environmental issues through the lens of some of the most renowned American photographers working today, such as Terry Evans, Frank Golhke, Sam Kittner, John Pfahl and Victor Landweber. Kent and Marcia Minichiello, Washingtonians committed to the environment, collected 27 in-depth photographic projects by these photographers and others. The Minichiellos donated the collection to the Library in 2001.

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 Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division includes approximately 14.4 million photographs, drawings and prints from the 15th century to the present day. International in scope, these visual collections represent a uniquely rich array of human experience, knowledge, creativity and achievement, touching on almost every realm of endeavor: science, art, invention, government and political struggle, and the recording of history. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/print/.

For sample images from “Down to Earth,” contact Donna Urschel at (202) 707-1639.

Herblock Gallery Themes: http://myloc.gov/exhibitions/herblockgallery/pages/themes.aspx


September 7, 2012 / Exhibition Opens March 20, 2012
“Herblock Looks at 1962”

Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639, [email protected]
Public contact: Sara Duke (202) 707-3630, [email protected]

John F. Kennedy in 1962, the second year of his U.S. presidency, attempted to implement new policies that met with partisan opposition: assisting the unemployed, passing a jobs bill and creating Medicare. Abroad, he increased military presence in Vietnam and faced the Soviet Union in a nuclear showdown known as the “Cuban Missile Crisis.”

These issues provided rich material for The Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herbert L. Block—better known as “Herblock.” By 1962, Herblock, who could artfully and effectively wield his pen, had won two Pulitzer Prizes.

His drawings will be on view in the exhibition “Herblock Looks at 1962: Fifty Years Ago Today in Editorial Cartoons,” opening March 20, 2012, 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 exhibition, which runs through Sept. 5, 2012, is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. It will be held in the Herblock Gallery, part of the Graphic Arts Galleries, which celebrates the work of Herblock with an ongoing display of 10 original drawings. The display changes every six months.

In 1945, Herblock developed his character “Mr. Atom” to personify the threat of nuclear annihilation that was ever-present during the Cold War (1945-1990). In 1962, Herblock used Mr. Atom repeatedly, when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev challenged Kennedy. The confrontation played out over the placement of nuclear missiles in Cuba and Turkey. At the same time, disarmament talks in Geneva, Switzerland, did not go well and the “Doomsday Clock” ticked closer to midnight, signaling the increased likelihood of nuclear war.

Ten cartoons will be on view, including “Tick—Tock—Tick,” “Once More unto the Brink, Once More,” “I May Still Have to Rely on Reckless Inaction” and “Hello—ORwell 1984?”

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 1962,” contact Donna Urschel at (202) 707-1639.

PR12-33
2/7/12
ISSN: 0731-3527


March 17, 2011
Graphic Arts Galleries at Library of Congress Open on March 18

HERBLOCK GALLERY
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington DC 20540

Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639, [email protected]
Public contact: Sara Duke (202) 707-3630, [email protected]
Martha Kennedy (202) 707-9115, [email protected]

The Library of Congress announces the opening of the Swann Gallery and the Herblock Gallery on Friday, March 18, 2011. The galleries are two of three exhibition spaces located within the new Graphic Arts Galleries on the ground level of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building.

The third exhibition space in the Graphic Arts Galleries will open in September 2011. The galleries will focus on the Library’s cartoon collections and offer visitors a rich sampling of caricatures, comic strips, political drawings, artwork created for magazines and graphic-novel illustrations.

The galleries will be open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and admission is free.

The Herblock Gallery celebrates the work of editorial cartoonist Herbert L. Block—better known as “Herblock”— with an ongoing display of 10 original drawings, to change every six months. A four-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, who spent more than 55 years at The Washington Post, Herblock took on political corruption wherever he saw it, and championed the rights of “the little guy.” The inaugural exhibition, “Herblock Looks at Communism,” presents a selection of his 1951 cartoons about the Korean War. A new display in September will explore the Khrushchev-Kennedy confrontation in 1961. The Herb Block Foundation donated the 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 Swann Gallery introduces visitors to the fascinating world of caricatures, political cartoons, comics, animation art, graphic novels and illustrations. A permanent memorial exhibition will feature 15 facsimiles of treasured cartoons from the Swann and other cartoon collections, which represent the broad range of holdings in the Library of Congress. This exhibition is made possible by the Swann Foundation, which was established by Erwin Swann (1906–1973) in 1967 to support ongoing exhibitions, related programming, preservation and development of collections and to encourage appreciation for the dynamic, evolving field of cartoon and illustration arts.

In September 2011, the third gallery will open with a changing-exhibition program that showcases the graphic arts collections in the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress. Its inaugural exhibition will be “Timely and Timeless: New Comic Art Acquisitions,” featuring treasures of original cartoon art that were added to the Library’s collections during the past decade. On display will be political commentaries, comic-strip and comic-book drawings, New Yorker magazine illustrations and examples of graphic narratives.

The Library has a long history of exhibiting cartoon and caricature art, with the first Swann Gallery—known as the Oval Gallery—opening in 1982 in the James Madison Building. The Swann Gallery moved to the Thomas Jefferson Building in 1998 and remained open until 2004, when preparations started for construction of the Library’s tunnel to the Capitol Visitors Center. In subsequent years, large-scale cartoon art exhibitions—“Humor's Edge: Cartoons by Ann Telnaes” (2004); “Enduring Outrage: Editorial Cartoons by Herblock” (2006); “Cartoon America” (2006); and “Herblock!” (2009)—were held in various exhibition spaces in the Jefferson Building.

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.

Sample images from the Swann Gallery:
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/91705247/
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2008661676/

For sample images from the Herblock Gallery, contact Donna Urschel at (202) 707-1639.