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Annie Koyama Donates Original Art Collection to Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 21, 2017

Annie Koyama Donates Original Art Collection to Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Anne Koyama by Dustin Harbin. Used with permission from the artist.

COLUMBUS – The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is delighted to announce a donation of an extraordinary collection of more than 250 pieces of original artwork by contemporary American cartoonists from Annie Koyama, owner and publisher of Koyama Press.

In 2007, Koyama founded the Canada-based publishing company to encourage and support a variety of artists and illustrators. Koyama Press publishes alternative comics and art books, by both emerging and established artists.

Koyama is known in the comics community for her unwavering generosity, enthusiasm and professionalism. In 2013, she began assembling a curated collection for the BICLM that would bear her name and represent a snapshot of the independent comics industry that has begun to reach a critical mass in the early 21st Century. Koyama explains about her donation, “I started purchasing work from some of my favourite American cartoonist as a way to support and offer patronage to predominately up-and-coming artists. Over time, I built a collection of art that is as unique and diverse as the cartooning community from which it is derived. I am excited to see these artists finding recognition and representation in what I consider a vital resource: the BICLM.” Artists represented in the collection include Lisa Hanawalt, Theo Ellsworth, Katie Skelly, Noah Van Sciver, Eleanor Davis, Dustin Harbin, Frank Santoro, Gabrielle Bell, Hellen Jo, Kevin Huizenga, and nearly one hundred others.

“What Annie Koyama has done for us is unprecedented, forward-thinking, and remarkable. Most cartoonists in this community make a livelihood by selling their original art to private collectors, which makes it more difficult for public research facilities like BICLM to obtain these essential works. Annie has not only supported these cartoonists, but has solidified their legacy by placing the collection at OSU where it can be preserved, accessed, and enjoyed for generations to come” states Associate Curator Caitlin McGurk.     

“We are immensely moved by Annie Koyama’s thoughtfulness and vision, and grateful for this gift which is unique in our 40-year history of collecting,” comments curator Jenny Robb, “Annie has demonstrated the potential for the community to play a role in preserving its own history.”

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum has also confirmed an exhibition of the Koyama Collection to be on display May 6, 2018 – Sunday, October 21, 2018, coinciding with Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC).

Tim Hensley, Gropius Besieged.  Annie Koyama Collection.

About the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum:  The BICLM is one of The Ohio State University Libraries’ special collections. Its primary mission is to develop a comprehensive research collection of materials documenting American printed cartoon art (editorial cartoons, comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, sports cartoons, and magazine cartoons) and to provide access to these collections.  The BICLM recently moved into its newly-renovated 30,000 sq. ft. facility that includes a museum with three exhibition galleries, a reading room for researchers and a state-of-the-art collections storage space.  The library reading room is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m.  See http://cartoons.osu.edu/ for further information.

The Ohio State University Libraries

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
Contact: Caitlin McGurk
Sullivant Hall
1813 N. High St
Columbus, OH 43210

614-292-0538 Phone
614-292-9101 Fax

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum announces: Challenge grant issued for Lucy Caswell Research Award

Founding Curator Lucy Shelton Caswell, with cartoonist Milton Caniff and an original page from his comic strip “Terry and the Pirates.” From the Milton Caniff Collection.

The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation has issued a challenge that would generate $70,000 for the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (BICLM) and University Libraries. If the Libraries can raise $35,000, the Foundation will match that amount and establish an endowment that will generate funds for the Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award.

The endowment will provide funding for scholars to travel to Columbus and use the BICLM collections for research and publishing. A committee will be appointed by the BICLM curator to review applications and select award recipients. The Foundation will also contribute a stipend for the award each year until the BICLM can raise the matching funds to establish the endowment.

“We are thrilled with this support for a new research award,” says BICLM curator Jenny Robb.

“Our vast collections include rare and unique items that in some cases must be viewed on-site,” Robb said. “Often scholars simply don’t have the funds to travel; this grant will provide significant assistance that will help us meet the growing demand for access to our resources.”

Will Eisner was a major cartoonist, writer and entrepreneur. He was one of the earliest cartoonists to work in the American comic book industry, and his series, The Spirit (1940–1952), was noted for its experiments in content and form. In 1978, he popularized the term “graphic novel” with the publication of his book A Contract With God. He was an early contributor to formal comics studies with his book Comics and Sequential Art (1985). The Eisner Family Foundation continues his support of the cartoon arts. The Will Eisner Seminar Room in the BICLM was named in honor of the late cartoonist.

The award will be named for the founding curator of the BICLM, Professor Emerita Lucy Shelton Caswell. Prior to her retirement, her scholarly work and teaching focused on the history of newspaper comic strips and the history of American editorial cartoons. She has curated more than seventy-five cartoon-related exhibits and is the author of several articles and books, the most recent being the revised edition of Billy Ireland. Caswell is co-editor of The Ohio State University Press Studies in Cartoons and Comics series. She also serves as the vice president of Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, the annual citywide celebration of cartoon art.

More information about the award, including how to apply, will be announced soon.

Click here to donate and learn more about our first-ever Day of Giving!

The Ohio State University Libraries
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
cartoons.osu.edu
cartoons@osu.edu

614-292-0538 Phone
614-292-9101 Fax

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