Showing posts with label Library of Congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Library of Congress. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Touring the LoC's Drawn to Purpose exhibit with curator Martha Kennedy


Anita Kunz
by Mike Rhode

Last November, the Library of Congress opened a new show in the historic Jefferson building on women cartoonists and illustrators, curated by Martha Kennedy of the Prints & Photographs Division. Martha has a long-standing interest in the subject, and works in the division that collects original art (in spite of its name). She’s previously curated a show and book of Ann Telnaes’ work, but this is the first exhibit to look at the wide world of women artists. The online description of the show reads: 

Features the rich collections of the Library of Congress and brings to light remarkable but little-known contributions made by North American women to the art forms of illustration and cartooning. Spanning the late 1800s to the present, the exhibition highlights the gradual broadening in both the private and public spheres of women’s roles and interests, and demonstrates that women once constrained by social conditions and convention, have gained immense new opportunities for self-expression and discovery. 

Martha was kind enough to give me a tour of the exhibit one day recently. The exhibit is in the Swann Gallery of the Jefferson Building, and will have two rotations of artwork, and an accompanying book.



Martha Kennedy: The show reflects a new approach to exhibit design here at the Library, in that you don’t see item by item labels. We have additional information on each piece on sheets at the entrance. The kind of design being used gives greater visual emphasis to the artworks themselves, and groups highly-varied kinds of illustrations and cartoons in ways that makes sense. The exhibit introduction defines six types of illustration and cartooning that are being highlighted. The exhibit is clearly intended to celebrate the contributions that women have made to both of these art forms, roughly from the late 19th century into the 21st century. We’re doing this by showing some of the very best examples of these art forms held in the Library’s collections.




We have in the Themes and Genres introduction examples of the six different kinds of illustration and cartooning that we’re featuring in the exhibition. The types are Golden Age illustration, early comics, new voices in comics, editorial illustration, magazine covers and cartoons, and political cartoons. This grouping overall also shows the two main threads running through the exhibition: 1.) how imagery of women and gender roles and relations changes over time; and 2.) how the subject matter broadens and quickens especially near the end of the 20th century and into the 21st century. These threads you’ll see in the groupings to various degrees.

For the Golden Age of illustration, we have Alice Barber Stevens showing the new woman, a social phenomenon of the end of the 19th century, as two aspiring artists. For early comics, a page of Little Lulu by Marge originally published in the Saturday Evening Post. Anita Kunz is our example of an editorial illustrator’s work; she carries on the theme of how the images of women change. This dates from 2001 and was commissioned by Working Women Magazine and shows the quandary of everyday women still today, seventeen years later. The cell phones are a little out of date, but a lot of women still feel fragmented in their lives. Barbara Brandon Croft is our example of new voices in comics greatly broadening the subject matter of women’s concerns with her strip “Where I’m Coming From” that ran in the ‘90s. For magazine cartoons and covers, Roberta MacDonald did a wonderful New Yorker magazine cartoon from the wartime 1940s depicting role reversal during World War II. Finally, we have a beautiful example of Ann Telnaes’ editorial cartooning created just after 9/11. It’s just a sparkling example of her cartooning and really succinct text and commentary. 


Mike Rhode: How did you decide to do an exhibit on women cartoonists and illustrators?

Martha Kennedy: I’ve been working on this project for quite a while. When I first started, I remember being really impressed by the quality of work by women in different parts of the collection in Prints & Photographs. And also amazed and saddened by the fact that a lot of these women aren’t known. They’ve been overlooked in the histories of both art forms. I could see that there was collection development work and acquisitions to be done in both of those areas, and I have worked to build up those areas.

Mike Rhode: So the Telnaes art came in during your time, as you did an exhibit of her work. I remember when you brought Anita Kunz in to speak.



Martha Kennedy: Yes, and the some of the others were in the stacks, like Roberta MacDonald who deserves to be better known. But out of this exhibit, I acquired art by Gillespie, Barry, Price, Bechdel, Jetter, Chast, Wilkinson, Sherman, Benson, Mergen (over 600 drawings), and from rotation 2, Donnelly, Beck, and Tamaki.

Mike Rhode: How did you decide who to include in the show and the book? Was it women represented in the collection of the Library?

Martha Kennedy: Yes, it’s entirely collection-based. What we have in the collections is what inspired me to do a project of this kind and scope. I worked on it for years. This has been a special focus for me, even though previous curators had built up wonderful holdings of some of these artists. I have worked hard to add to and strengthen the holdings of work by women.




The next grouping focuses on the Golden Age of Illustration which dates roughly from 1880 to 1930. A lot of women ended up working in children’s books or fashion illustrating. Some exceptional ones branched out and illustrated works of literature in books or short stories in magazines aimed at adult readers. For example, Mary Hallock Foote is an interesting figure. She did most of her work in the west. Her husband was a mining engineer, and when they got married in the 1870s, she went west with him. She already had established a career and had good contacts; she knew the editor of Scribner’s and Century Magazine and continued illustrating, and then writing. She’s someone who should be better known. She took wood-engraving blocks with her that she worked on. Jessie Gillespie should be better known too. She did fashion illustration early on, and we show a 1914 satirical fashion illustration of women wearing pants.






Mike Rhode: 100 years later, her drawing would still work as a standalone illustration, if slightly redrawn.

Martha Kennedy: She’s also recognized as an incredible silhouette artist. We have some of those too, which are fairly newly acquired.

Mike Rhode: Even though the work is 100 years old, she wasn’t in the collection before?

Martha Kennedy: No, and we have a stunning piece of advertising art by her that will be in the second rotation. There will be two rotations of this show; the second one will go up in May. We will end up having about 40 artists represented overall with 70 works which is just a fraction of what we have.

Mike Rhode: Will it be a complete rotation?

Martha Kennedy: It will be. Some artists from the first version will also be in the second – people like Lynda Barry, Allison Bechdel and Lynn Johnston.
 
Our next grouping is Early Comics. Women found it hard to enter the comic strip field in the late 19th century and tended to be channeled into a narrow range of subjects if they were successful and featured babies, cute children and animals in their strips. Rose O’Neill’s comic strip The Kewpies is just an incredible example, I think. She just raised the bar for that kind of comic strip. Our example is a 1935 Sunday page, from when she revived the strip which originally ran 1917-1918 and then 1934-1935.

Mike Rhode: She’s working very large and is using two pages of paper to make one page of artwork.

Martha Kennedy: It’s incredible to see her at the height of her powers and her drawing technique is so accomplished and amazing. This piece is an amusing story about the Kewpies trying to convince people that ghosts really exist, but what’s really striking is the incredibly detailed notes to her colorist Miss Hess along the margins. She goes through frame by frame.

Mike Rhode: It looks like it would have been faster for her to do a color guide and color parts of it herself.

Martha Kennedy: Yes, you’re right. Why she did it this way is unknown.

Other famous characters are Grace Drayton’s Campbell Soup Kids. She’s best known for this creation, although she created successful strips, several of which featured cute kids who looked like the Campbell Kids. The Kids were created in 1904 and appeared in the Lady’s Home Journal.

Virginia Huget’s flapper strip, Molly the Manicure Girl is one of the few comics featuring a flapper who is also ostensibly a working girl. It’s very light-hearted. Her work is really rare. In the book that’s going to come out in March, there are bullet point biographies for all these cartoonists and illustrators and more. There are about 123.

Mike Rhode: Is it a catalog of the show in addition to a book about women cartoonists?

Martha Kennedy: It’s not a catalog of the show, but there are six chapters that correspond to the sections of the exhibit.



Mollie the Manicure Girl by Huget

Mike Rhode: Also in this section is a 1965 Brenda Starr by Dale Messick, with Brenda sobbing over the missing Basil St. John… it really was a romance comic by that point. 

Martha Kennedy: For me, this era ends on a triumphant note, with Dale Messick winning syndication for Brenda Starr in 1940 which is a big deal because it was one of the first adventure strips with a female heroine. Starr would go off in search of news stories as a reporter. It was less of a romance strip in the early days.

I also want to note three years prior to that, Jackie Ormes, one of the few  African-American cartoonists, published her first strip called Torchy Brown – From Dixie to Harlem in 1937 in the Pittsburgh Courier. Her strip featured a young heroine in an adventurous life as she moved north in search of a career. It ran initially only two years, but she revived the strip later on. We have no original work by her unfortunately, and this is a tearsheet on exhibit. We’ve tried to get some, but it is very rare. She did two other comic features, and engages with broader issues such as environment, race… and paper dolls. Paper dolls frequently appear in women’s strips including Trina Robbins, Grace Drayton…

The next group is New Narratives, New Voices which includes recent comics. We have an example of a beautiful silk-screened example of a mini-comic by Lille Carre collected from the Small Press Expo (SPX). 




Mike Rhode: SPX is probably bringing in a lot of works by women cartoonists given that the show is probably approaching parity with equal numbers of men and women exhibiting.
Martha Kennedy: SPX is incredible. And so many women are winning top prizes at SPX and San Diego Comic-Con and other venues where awards are given. Peers are recognizing peers for their work.

We have Trina Robbins represented by an example of a cover for Wimmen’s Comix. She’s such an important figure in the whole history of comics and the chronicling of comics’ history. She did both writing and art in underground and mainstream comic books, and then became a ‘herstorian.”

Since the 1940s, one of the distinctions between the comics in this section and the earlier ones, is that the creators have turned to their own lives and are drawing on their own experiences and the experiences of people they know well.

Mike Rhode: On display here is original art by Allison Bechdel, Hilary Price, Lynn Johnston and Lynda Barry, in addition to the printed works we’ve already discussed. I’m wondering about the absence of Cathy Guisewite?



Martha Kennedy: She’s in the book. I wish we had more examples of her work. She’s certainly important in this era of women’s comics. 

I would like to point out the Lynda Barry piece as really interesting. It’s from one of the stories in 100 Demons, her breakout book from 2002. In this piece, she’s resurrecting and transforming her childhood memories of smell, when she noticed that every single house in her neighborhood had a different smell, including her own. She’s very funny as she describes the smells and ascribes significance to them.

Mike Rhode: Under the strip is a collage…

 Martha Kennedy: All her title pages in the book are double-page spreads and they’re amazing multi-media works with ink, water color, photographs, dried flowers… She refers to her approach as autobiofictionalography.

Mike Rhode: I don’t think that term is going to catch on with anyone else. She’s a great creator though.

Next to this section is a video screen with other examples?

Martha Kennedy: Yes, we’re seeing some later Little Lulu strips by Ward Kimball. Marge was very entrepreneurial. And there are other examples of Brenda Starr and art by Marie Severin. It has some art from every section of pieces I wished we could include, but weren’t able to.
Whitney Sherman

The next section is Editorial Illustrators as exemplified by Anita Kunz. Especially interesting is this pairing of Sue Coe and Frances Jetter. They’re both commenting on the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and have created very strong statements. Jetter’s may look like fine art, but it was published in Time Magazine and that’s the way she works. She chooses to work in linocut. She does more fine art now, and works mostly in sculpture, but she went through a period when she published a lot of illustrations. This very strong statement about the enemy war dead was published in Time, whereas Coe’s piece was commissioned by The Progressive, a strongly pacifist magazine, and is a universal indictment of war. It’s a powerful, haunting piece showing her drawing technique and the influence of German Expressionist Kathe Kollwitz. Whitney Sherman’s piece is an editorial illustration for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s annual report about the easy availability of drugs at schools and really hits hard on this. She’s in charge of the graduate illustration program at MICA. 

Bernarda Bryson Shahn is perhaps the godmother of editorial illustration, and her piece is from 1935. She drove her famous husband around the South and the Midwest as part of the WPA project, but was taking her own notes, looking at his photographs, thinking about the state of the country, and coming up with her own idea for a series. She called it The Vanishing American Frontier, and got some funding to work on it, but never finished it, because like other women, life interfered. She was supportive of his career, and had three children. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the work was published and exhibited, and we know from that catalog that she intended the series to be published as a book. It wasn’t intended as fine art, but meant for broader distribution in the tradition of editorial illustration. There will be another example of her work in the next rotation.


Bernarda Shahn


Mike Rhode: To me, this piece looks like she’s quoting Grant Wood’s American Gothic…

Martha Kennedy: She claimed she didn’t know about his painting at the time.



Anita Kunz

Mike Rhode The next section is Magazine Covers andCartoons. I see a Roz Chast cartoon, and another Anita Kunz – you snuck two in…
Helen Hokinson
Martha Kennedy: I did! She’s just so colorful and compelling. This was for Ms. Magazine showing how a cover highlights a feature in the magazine, in this case a Satanic cult victimizing children. This horizontal piece of art was used as a wraparound cover.

Helen Hokinson is next. She’s a magazine cartoonist for the New Yorker who died in the 1949.

Mike Rhode: I think she’s their most famous woman cartoonist until Roz Chast arrived in the 1970s.

Martha Kennedy: They used other women cartoonists such as Barbara Shermund. Roberta MacDonald did 100 cartoons and then they accepted less and less. In her book, Liza Donnelly traces the history of women cartoonists in the magazine.

 Two magazine cover designs we exhibit show the change in gender relations. The 1920s Vanity Fair by Ann Harriet Fish shows dancers moving with great freedom, and she designed over thirty covers for them. She published in other magazines such as Cosmopolitan. 

Mike Rhode: I think part of the reason some of these people have ‘disappeared’ is that their magazines failed, whereas the New Yorker has continued publishing, and publishing cartoon collections, and raiding their back stock, while other publications are gone.

Martha Kennedy: The Golden Age of magazines is over.

Mike Rhode: The next section is Political Cartoons, and you’ve chosen some of the usual suspects such as Signe Wilkinson (one of the two Pulitzer Prize winners) and alternative cartoonist and Herblock prize-winner Jen Sorenson. Lisa Benson is less familiar, working in a smaller market.




Martha Kennedy: Benson started in a California paper and is one of the few conservative editorial cartoonists. She’s part of the Washington Post Writers Group’s Cartoonist Group, and you see her in the Post’s Saturday roundup once in a while, signing drawings as “Lisa.”
 
Ann Mergen was the editorial cartoonist for the Miami Daily News from 1933-1956. She turned from fashion illustration to editorial cartooning, and basically worked herself into a job. That paper did not have an editorial cartoonist. She should be better known. For over 20 years, she was their editorial cartoonist, and we have over 600 of her cartoons. The paper won a Pulitzer when she was on staff and her editor sent her a telegram saying, “Don’t let anyone tell you it wasn’t Mergen cartoons that won us the Pulitzer. “ She did cartoons about the environment and the Everglades; Southern Florida Historical Society has that work. Ohio State’s Billy Ireland Library did a solo show on her work, and I’d like to do more on her work. Some editorial cartoonists’ most powerful work is almost timeless, because some of the issues they address are ongoing.
Mike Rhode: Why aren’t there more print publications in the exhibit beyond the two or three? You could have included more cartoonists if you had used books or comics from other divisions.

Martha Kennedy: Space was limited. We did use some supporting material, and more is in the book. I would have liked to show more of how multi-faceted some of these women were, doing different kinds of illustrations, cartoons and book illustration and some doing book design as well. My book is intended to spotlight the great diversity and the range of inventiveness and innovation that these artists were capable of. So many of these women had to earn a living; they had talent and they wanted to use it and they moved in directions that offered them outlets.
Hilary Price


Mike Rhode: Who would you like to have included in the exhibition but couldn’t?

Martha Kennedy: Several who come to mind are cartoonists Martha Orr and Alice Harvey and illustrators Violet Oakley and Florence Scovel Shinn.

I have a whole section on caricatures in the book that I wasn’t able to include in the exhibit due to lack of space. Some are on the video screen in the exhibit. And we don’t have a lot of work by women animators. The book will be a co-publication between the Library of Congress and the University Press of Mississippi. There will about 230 illustrations and it comes out in March. We are planning some public programs too.

There are probably less than ten books on women cartoonists, so I’m hoping this exhibit will spur further research and more acquisitions, and generally more recognition of what women have contributed.

Jen Sorenson


Mike Rhode: Regarding future acquisitions – you only have limited money to buy items, but people can give you gifts and you’d be happy to talk to people about that right?

Martha Kennedy: Yes, definitely. Some types of illustration and comics that my colleagues and I would like to acquire for the Library include excellent examples of original comic book, graphic narrative, and children’s book illustration art. Acquiring excellent examples of original drawings by Kate Carew, other female cartoonists and illustrators commenting on the woman suffrage movement, Fay King, and editorial cartoons by Edwina Dumm would also be of strong interest.

Drawn to Purpose
November 18, 2017–October 20, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Graphic Arts Galleries, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building
Washington, DC 
https://www.loc.gov/exhibitions/drawn-to-purpose/about-this-exhibition/

Monday, October 30, 2017

Library of Congress to Open "Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists"

Library to Open "Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists"

Works From More Than 40 Artists Will Be Featured

Press Contact: Gayle Osterberg (202) 707-0020

October 27, 2017

https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-17-165/


Detail, "Dancing Couples No. 1," Anne Harriet Fish (1890–1964). Cover for Vanity Fair, March 1920.

Original works by women cartoonists and illustrators are featured in a new exhibition opening at the Library of Congress on Nov. 18. Spanning the late 1800s to the present, "Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists" brings to light remarkable but little-known contributions made by North American women to these art forms.
In fields traditionally dominated by men, many women have long earned their livelihoods creating art intended for reproduction and wide dissemination in newspapers, periodicals and books. Women pursuing careers in the early days of the visual arts, as in nearly every other profession, encountered limitations in training, permitted subject matter and adequate work environments. A host of challenges and longstanding social restrictions in a traditionally male-controlled system impeded many from advancing in their chosen fields.
The selected works drawn from the Library's extensive collections highlight the gradual broadening in both the private and public spheres of women's roles and interests, addressing such themes as evolving ideals of feminine beauty, new opportunities emerging for women in society, changes in gender relations and issues of human welfare. "Drawn to Purpose" demonstrates that women, once constrained by social conditions and convention, have gained immense new opportunities for self-expression and discovery to share with growing, appreciative audiences.
The exhibition will feature nearly 70 works by 43 artists in two rotations during its run from Nov. 18, 2017, through Oct. 20, 2018, in the Graphic Arts Galleries of the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition will be free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are not needed.
The exhibition is made possible by the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon. An online version will be available to audiences nationwide at loc.gov on Nov. 18.
"Drawn to Purpose" is organized into seven sections: Themes and Genres; Golden Age Illustrators; Early Comics; New Voices, New Narratives; Editorial Illustrators; Magazine Covers and Cartoons; and Political Cartoonists.
Among the artists and works featured are Grace Drayton's wide-eyed, red-cheeked Campbell Kids, who debuted in 1909; Lynn Johnston's comic strip "For Better or For Worse"; Persian Gulf War editorial illustrations by Sue Coe and Frances Jetter; "Mixed Marriage" by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast; and work by best-selling graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier.
The Library will release a companion book, "Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists" by curator Martha H. Kennedy, in the spring of 2018. Featuring more than 240 eye-catching illustrations from Library collections, "Drawn to Purpose" provides additional insights into the personal and professional experiences of more than 80 artists. Their individual stories—shaped by their access to art training, the impact of family on their careers and experiences of gender bias in the marketplace—serve as vivid reminders of the human dimensions of social change during a period in which the roles and interests of women spread from the private to the public sphere. The hardcover volume is published in association with University of Mississippi Press and will be available for $50 in the Library of Congress shop, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Credit card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557 or loc.gov/shop/ and bookstores nationwide.
The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.
###

PR 17-165
2017-10-27
ISSN 0731-3527

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Library of Awesome is open at the Library of Congress

20170614_115532

In cooperation with Awesome Con, the Library of Congress has Library of Awesome, a pop-up exhibit on comic books in the Jefferson building, off to one side on the first floor. You have to look for it, but it's worth seeing.



The exhibit was curated by Megan Halsband of the Serials division, and features rooms of comics - Milestones, Wonder Woman, Marvel, DC, Children, Science Fiction and a final room for selvies with the characters drawn by the Library's exhibit department.

20170614_113057

Comic books surround Amelia Earhart's handprint and a speech by Clara Barton.

20170614_112950

The Milestones exhibit (including an original page of art from the first Spider-Man comic).

20170614_112715

WorldCat only lists two copies of this Lost World #6 comic book held by libraries - one is in Australia. The comic was only published for two issues - #5-6 in 1952.

20170614_115425

More pictures can be seen here.

20170614_115445



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 14-17: Library of Awesome at Library of Congress

May 26, 2017

Public Contact: Tyanne Rodgers (202) 707-1507, tyro@loc.gov
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov
                                                                                                    
Library of Congress to Celebrate the World of Comics
The Library of Congress is gearing up for a super summer treat celebrating the role of comics and graphic novels in promoting literacy, as collectibles, in the arts, advertising, sociology, popular culture and history. Making a variety of collection items more accessible to the general public, the "Library of Awesome" features a pop-up display of famous comic-book issues, drawings, original comic strips and related items. Programming for all ages will be offered.

Nearly 100 comic-book collection items will be on display for "Library of Awesome," a pop-up exhibit featuring items from the Library's comic-book collections presented in conjunction with Awesome-Con, Washington, D.C.'s annual convention of comics, cosplay and pop culture. The display will be on view Wednesday, June 14 – Saturday, June 17 on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington D.C. Tickets are not required.

"Comic books attract fans and collectors of all ages. What many people might not know is that the Library of Congress is a collector as well," said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. "We have the world's largest collection of comic books, and I am so pleased we can share some of them during this special display.  I hope this experience will inspire visitors to further explore our collections and discover other surprises."

The collections of the Library of Congress include nearly 140,000 comic books dating back to the 1930s. Visitors will see famous editions of such comic-book characters as Wonder Woman, Superman and some of the most significant artwork and storylines in comic-book history. These include original artwork for the first appearance of Spider-Man and the American classic known as Famous Funnies No. 1 (1934), considered by many to be the first American comic book. First appearances of Batman, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk will be on display, as well as rare early science fiction and children's comics. The exhibit will also feature first issues of Archie, Luke Cage: Hero for Hire and Supergirl.

Additional programming includes a family-friendly costume contest with a chance to win a pair of tickets to Awesome-Con 2017, workshops and demonstrations.

Events are free and open to the public. Visitors who come to "Library of Awesome" dressed in a superhero character costume will receive a 15 percent discount on merchandise at the Library of Congress Shop.

Media wishing to cover the event must RSVP no later than Thursday, June 1. Additional details about coverage opportunities will follow.

The excitement can be followed on Twitter at @librarycongress and #LCcomics.

The programming includes:

Wednesday, June 14
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (LJ 113, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building)
"Library of Awesome" Comic-Book Display
Visitors are invited to explore this pop-up display of more than 100 iconic comic-book issues of today's most popular characters. The display will feature multiple themes including Wonder Woman and milestones, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, children's comics and sci-fi comics. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.  

Thursday, June 15
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (LJ 113, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building)
"Library of Awesome" Comic-Book Display
Visitors are invited to explore this pop-up display of more than 100 iconic comic-book issues of today's most popular characters. The display will feature multiple themes including Wonder Woman and milestones, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, children's comics and sci-fi comics. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.    

2 p.m. (Young Readers Center)
Cosplay Demonstration
Library Technician Ashley Dickerson and other cosplayers will demonstrate how they develop characters. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

3 p.m. (Young Readers Center)
Cosplay Workshop
Library of Congress Young Readers Center staff and cosplayers will teach visitors how to make superhero arm gauntlets using basic craft supplies. Kids are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite characters. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

Friday, June 16
9:30 a.m. (Neptune Plaza)
Costume Contest
Get your capes ready! Come dressed up as your favorite comic-book character for the ultimate costume contest. There will be separate categories for children and adult participants. The winners of the adult contest will receive a pair of passes to 2017 Awesome-Con to be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Free and open to the public. Reservations required; visit Eventbrite for reservation and official contest rules.

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (LJ 113, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building)
"Library of Awesome" Comic-Book Display
Visitors are invited to explore this pop-up display of more than 100 iconic comic-book issues of today's most popular characters. The display will feature multiple themes including Wonder Woman and milestones, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, children's comics and sci-fi comics. Free and open to the public. No tickets required. 

Saturday, June 17
9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Young Readers Center)
"Library of Awesome" themed activites and displays 
Young Readers Center staff will host activities all day, including drawing comic books, creating props, and assembling costumes. Visitors will also be able to explore comic books, graphic novels and other Young Readers Center collections and partake in superhero and sci-fi-themed photo shoots.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (LJ 113, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building)
"Library of Awesome" Comic-Book Display
Visitors are invited to explore this pop-up display of more than 100 iconic comic-book issues of today's most popular characters. The display will feature multiple themes including Wonder Woman and milestones, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Children's comics and sci-fi comics. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.      

11 a.m. (Walter E. Washington Convention Center)
"Comics Conversation: Collections and Preservation at the Library"*
Join Library of Congress staff members, including Senior Rare Book Conservator Claire Dekle, Curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Art Sara W. Duke, Reference Specialist Megan Halsband, Head of the Newspaper Section Georgia Higley and Curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Art Martha H. Kennedy, for a panel discussion about the original art and collections held at the Library. Panelists will share highlights of the collections, provide insights on the conservation and preservation of this material, and suggest how attendees might come to use the Library's collections for their own research. *Awesome-Con 2017 ticket required for attendance.

The Library of Awesome is made possible by gifts to the Library of Congress Fund. Those interested in supporting free programs at the Library can contact devofc@loc.gov.

The Serial and Government Publications Division maintains one of the most extensive newspaper collections in the world. It is exceptionally strong in United States newspapers, with 9,000 titles covering the past three centuries. With over 25,000 non-U.S. titles, it is the largest collection of overseas newspapers in the world. Beyond its newspaper holdings, the division also has extensive collections of current periodicals, comic books and government publications. The comic-book collection is available for research use by scholars, collectors, and other researchers in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room; for more information visit www.loc.gov/rr/news/coll/049.html.

The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

###
PR 17-63
2017-05-26
ISSN 0731-3527
Follow us on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Blogs | News
101 Independence Ave SE | Washington DC 20540-1610 USA  | 202.707.2905

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Roz Chast does 2017 Book Festival poster


2017 National Book Festival Poster Depicts Delightful World of Books



2017 National Book Festival poster by cartoonist Roz Chast.

Spring is in the air and with it begins anticipation for our summer celebration of books and reading – the Library of Congress National Book Festival – which this year will take place on Sept. 2. Two weeks ago the diverse author lineup for the 2017 festival was announced and today the poster is being revealed!

The poster artist is Roz Chast, a cartoonist whose work has been published in The New Yorker, Scientific American, the Harvard Business Review, Redbook, and more. Chast started drawing cartoons as a child growing up in Brooklyn, and went on to graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has won numerous awards for her books and illustrations.

Cindy Moore, a graphic specialist at the Library of Congress, led a team of other graphics specialists at the Library in selecting Chast to design this year's poster. However, the theme Chast came up with was all her own.

"Books have always been a major part of my life from the time I learned to read," explains Chast. "They are a way to escape from the world, but also a way to feel more deeply connected to it. I wanted to make a poster that expressed the excitement, appreciation, and delight I have for the books of my life."

By the looks of this lively whimsical poster, she succeeded wildly!

You can download a copy of the poster from the Library of Congress National Book Festival website.
The 2017 Library of Congress National Book Festival, which is free for everyone, will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 2. The festival is made possible by the generosity of sponsors. You too can support the festival by making a gift now.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Will Eisner Week exhibit at the Library of Congress

20170306_113219Last week, the departments of Serials (ie comic books) and Prints & Photographs (ie original art and posters) put on small exhibit for a couple of hours in recognition of Will Eisner's 100th birthday. In addition to Spirit comic books, there was original art by Eisner, as well as other comics and comic book pages.



20170306_113611 

 Spirited snarf at Library of Congress 

20170306_113553

More pictures are on Flickr.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

My mini-comics collection now at Library of Congress

by Matt Dembicki

On Friday, I loaded up the minivan and brought my minicomics collection to the Library of Congress. It wasn't easy to part with, because these are not just books, but momentos and memories. But in the end, LOC will do a much better job preserving it and allowing researchers and others to find those gems they're looking for. My collection is mostly from 2000 up to present (with a heavy does of Midwest and D.C. area cartoonists) but there are a bunch from earlier decades as well as from other countries. One that comes to mind was a mini done by Kevin Eastman before he did Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ed Piskor, Michael Ramirez, and Gene Yang announced for National Book Festival in 2016

Update: Darrin Bell has also confirmed his attendance.

Sweet Sixteen: The 2016 National Book Festival Announced!

January 21, 2016 by
http://blogs.loc.gov/national-book-festival/2016/01/sweet-sixteen-the-2016-national-book-festival-announced/

Many authors have already accepted the festival's invitations this year, and they include:
  • Kwame Alexander, Newbery Medal winner
  • Douglas Brinkley, prize-winning historian
  • Christopher Buckley, author of such satirical works as "Thank You for Smoking"
  • Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and author
  • Philip Glass, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
  • Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Winston Groom, author of "Forrest Gump"
  • Stephen King, best-selling, prize-winning author and literacy advocate
  • James McBride, National Book Award winner
  • Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian
  • Joyce Carol Oates, prize-winning author of more than 70 books
  • Ed Piskor, alternative comics artist
  • Michael Ramirez, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Diane Rehm, NPR host and author
  • Salman Rushdie, Man Booker Prize winner
  • Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Bob Woodward, Pulitzer prize winner and author of 17 No. 1 best-sellers
  • Luis Alberto Urrea, prize-winning author of "The Devil's Highway"
  • Gene Luen Yang, Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

The National Book Festival poster will be designed this year by Yuko Shimizu, an illustrator based in New York City and an instructor at the School of Visual Arts. Her work has appeared on The Gap T-shirts, Pepsi cans, Visa card billboards and Microsoft and Target ads, as well as on book covers for Penguin, Scholastic and DC Comics. She has published work in the pages of The New York Times, Time magazine, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker and many other publications.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

King Features: Celebrating 100 Years at the Library of Congress

King Features: Celebrating 100 Years at the Library of Congress
http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=6806
http://stream.media.loc.gov/webcasts/captions/2015/150522spe1130.txt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wcZbTnSmH8

SPEAKER: Brendan Burford, Patrick McDonnell, Brian Walker, Jeff Keane, Hilary Price, Ray Billingsley, Mike Peters
EVENT DATE: 2015/05/22
RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
DESCRIPTION:
King Features Syndicate celebrated 100 years of comic strip creation and history with a panel of some of today's greatest illustrators.


Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Comic art at the Library of Congress

Sometimes you walk in and waiting on a table in Prints and Photos are some gems. These are from the Swann Collection.

Original Captain America art by Sal Buscema at the Library of Congress.
Gluyas Williams original art of the Library of Congress at the Library of Congress.
Marie Severin original Hulk art at the Library of Congress.