Tag: exhibits


OhioStateLogoContact: Caitlin McGurk
The Ohio State University
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
1813 N High St.
Columbus OH 43210-1393


Upcoming Exhibitions at The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum


November 4, 2017 – April 22, 2018 

Immigration and fashion history are the subjects of two unique new exhibits opening in November at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

“Looking Backward” by Joseph Keppler. Puck, January 11, 1893

LOOKING BACKWARD, LOOKING FORWARD:  Explore the topic of U.S. immigration through the lens of the political cartoons, comic strips, comic books and graphic novels that have contributed to the debate about this important, and often polarizing, issue.  Cartoons and comics can enlighten us, challenge our beliefs and misconceptions, and bring attention to injustices. However, history shows they can also reflect and magnify our fears and prejudices. From Thomas Nast to Gene Luen Yang, this exhibit looks back on 150 years of cartoon and comics responses to major moments in the American immigration narrative. In examining the past, it aims to inform the current debate, as we move forward with a story that is fundamental to the American experiment itself. 


“Winnie Winkle Fashion Cut-outs” by Martin Branner. August 4, 1935.

NEW EXHIBIT – Alternate Views: Perspectives on the American Civil War

Start Date: May 13, 2013
Through: July 12, 2013
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Location: Reading Room Gallery – 27 W. 17th Avenue Mall


The 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War is commemorated in this exhibition which highlights the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum’s growing collection of nineteenth century prints. Editorial cartoons were not published in newspapers until after the Civil War when technology made it possible to publish them economically in a timely way. Prior to that, broadsheet prints – etchings, engravings and lithographs – were the means cartoonists used for political commentary. Popular magazines such as Harper’s Weekly relied on wood engravings to provide illustrations.

Both sides of the conflict are represented in Alternate Views. As was true during the war, most of the materials represent the views of Union supporters. There was only one cartoonist who published works favoring of the Confederate States of America:  Adelbert Volck, who published under the pseudonym V. Blada. Selected examples of his etchings are included in the exhibition.

The complexity of many of the works displayed in this exhibition is striking. Intricate visual metaphors demand close reading in order to comprehend the meaning of the cartoon. These images were produced when the pace of life was much different. These were intended to be read, reread, and then, read again. When we step back in time to consider these works, their messages are clear, passions are heated, and a complex period in our history is revealed.

Curated by Lucy Shelton Caswell, Professor Emerita, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

This will be the final exhibit in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum’s current space, until re-opening in the Fall of 2013 in Sullivant Hall.