Showing posts with label exhibit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exhibit. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Claude E. Toles exhibit at the Cosmos Club

Lieberman's favorite work by Toles (not exhibited)

by Mike Rhode

Randy Liebermann purchased a collection of Elmira, New York cartoonist Claude E. Toles a few years ago. A selection of the material is now on display at the Cosmos Club, which is only open to members and their guests. He kindly showed the exhibit to me last weekend and has agreed to let us feature it here.

Toles is barely known today. He worked for about 10 years from 1891-1901, before dying at age 26 of Bright's disease (ie kidney failure). In that time, he was stunningly prolific, doing over 6000 drawings, or 600 / year, or about 2 / day. Very few of these seem to have survived. The best source for information on Toles is John Adcock's article, A Remarkable Collection: C. E. Toles (1875-1901), and this link will take you to all of Adcock's articles on Toles, and more pictures. Liebermann had all of the pieces in this exhibit conserved, and they look very good indeed.

The Cosmos Club's Art Committee chose Deja vu All Over Again: The Art of Claude E. Toles as the exhibit title because they felt that many of the political situations seen in Toles' 115-year-old cartoons were recurring now. Here's their exhibit text and Toles' editorial cartoons for the Elmira Telegram.


The first image a visitor sees is this one of a man who's too poor to have his shoes shined.

President Grover Cleveland and Congress were at odds over 
his Supreme Court nominees as the next four cartoons show. 

"David's Hornblower a Blasting Hoister for Grover's" depicts a modified Edison talking machine.

The President was at odds with Congress over his Supreme Court nominees.

 Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats were looking very good to voters.

Despair - Liebermann noted that there was a depression from 1893-1897 but no social net.

Liebermann usually collects material on technology, and Uncle Sam grasping this wet cell battery shows the electric shock of racism over the annexation of Hawaii.

Toles drew Congress as lost in a snowstorm

A standard end of year cartoon for 1893.

Like any other working cartoonist, Toles did a wide variety of work including sheet music,

gag cartoons,

original art, with tear sheet in lower right

tearsheet with 19th century style joke

magazine mastheads (Twain also lived in Elmira),

proto-comic strip pages,

...and illustration work which doubled as social commentary.

"A Varsity Crew. As It Isn't" ca. 1899. Women didn't row in college

His rowers were definitely influenced by Charles Dana Gibson's Gibson Girls...
But his babies preceded Rose O'Neill's Kewpies by a few years...

And what this art nouveau fairy coxswain means is anyone's guess.

The only known photograph of Toles

Besides being very prolific, and short-lived, Toles may confuse historians due to his multiple signatures...

...which he definitely did on purpose when he moved to Baltimore to set up The International Syndicate which would sell stock images to a newspaper or magazine.

Toles drew most, if not all of the cartoons and illustrations in this book, but signed a variety of names to cartoons of different styles as demonstrated in his scrapbook, which Liebermann brought in for us to see.

Finally, one last piece also not in the exhibit is this unsigned painting, which Liebermann had extensively conserved. Randy thinks it's a one-off piece; I think it shows that Toles was considering moving into the newly-enlarged illustration market which was about to enter its golden age.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Jan 17 in Richmond: Leading Illustrator's Poe Art Surveyed in Major Exhibit

1914-16 E. Main St.
Richmond, VA 23223

News Release
Contact: Chris Semtner


Exhibit Surveys Four Decades of Richard Corben's Poe Artwork
From January 17 until April 19, 2015, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia will host Reimagining Poe: The Poe Illustrations of Richard Corben a major exhibit surveying forty years of illustrations to Poe's works by Eisner Award-winning artist Richard Corben. This, the first retrospective of Corben's Poe illustrations, will feature several original drawings from the artist's personal collection.  The exhibit will open with a lecture about Corben's illustrations by Randolph Macon College professor M. Thomas Inge on January 17 at 5p.m. The exhibit opening and lecture will be part of the Poe Museum's annual Poe Birthday Bash, the world's largest celebration devoted to the nineteenth century author's birthday.

Richard Corben (born 1940) is a comic book artist and illustrator named   Corben began his career in animation before turning to underground comics. In 1976 he adapted a Robert E. Howard story into what is considered the first graphic novel, Bloodstar. He is best known for his comics appearing in Heavy Metal Magazine. His illustrious career has included work in album covers and movie posters, collaboration on a graphic novel with rock musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie, and an award-winning short film Neverwhere. He is the winner of the 2009 Spectrum Grand Master Award, and he was elected to the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2012.

For over forty years, Corben has established himself as one of the most extraordinary illustrators of Poe's works. His Edgar Allan Poe adaptations have appeared on the pages of the comic books Creepy, Edgar Allan Poe's Haunt of Horror, and Edgar Allan Poe's Spirits of the Dead. Among his dozens of comic book adaptations of Poe's tales and poems are popular favorites like "The Raven" and "The Cask of Amontillado," as well as little known classics like "Alone" and "Israfel." Not content with literal illustrations of Poe's words, Corben's exquisite artwork is often paired with his own unusual and innovative reinventions of the stories. In the introduction to Corben's latest collection of Poe adaptations, Edgar Allan Poe's Spirits of the Dead, Dr. M. Thomas Inge states, "Corben has proven to be the most acute and creative interpreter of Poe in comics history."

Edgar Allan Poe is the internationally influential author of such tales of "The Raven," "The Tell-Tale Heart," and "The Black Cat." He is credited with inventing the mystery genre as well as with pioneering both the modern horror story and science fiction. Poe died under mysterious circumstances at the age of forty. Although much of his life is known through contemporary documents, some areas of his life remain shrouded in mystery.

Opened in 1922, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum of Richmond is the world's finest collection of Edgar Allan Poe artifacts and memorabilia. The five-building complex features permanent exhibits of Poe's manuscripts, personal items, clothing, and a lock of the author's hair. The Poe Museum's mission is to interpret the life and influence of Edgar Allan Poe for a global audience. Edgar Allan Poe is America's first internationally influential author, the inventor of the detective story, and the forerunner of science fiction; but he primarily considered himself a poet. His poems "The Raven," "Annabel Lee," and "The Bells" are classics of world literature.

For more information, contact Chris Semtner at the Poe Museum at or 888-21-EAPOE. More information and a complete list of Poe-related activities can be found at

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Shelton Drum's original comic art exhibit in Southern VA

"Heroes Aren't Hard to Find: The Comic Art Collection of Shelton Drum" exhibit at the William King Museum, Abingdon, VA, is absolutely fantastic, especially for someone around age 50-60. Shelton bought the art that we all would have, especially Spider-Man pages. Here's a set of pictures I snapped quickly, which don't do the art justice.

Why mention this on ComicsDC? Because local hero Richard Thompson is represented with two Cul de Sac strips.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bhob Stewart's 1969 underground comics exhibit at the Corcoran

I never met Bhob Stewart who passed away this week. I'm sorry I didn't because our interests in pop culture overlapped. We must have corresponded about comics though, because my name was in his email address book, and his friend Brad Verter was kind enough to send a notice of his death, and some scans that he thought might be of interest. Bhob had apparently asked him to scan these for his blog Potrzebie, but didn't get a chance to use them.

Bhob was apparently instrumental in putting on Phonus Balonus, an underground cartoon exhibit at an offshoot of the Corcoran Gallery on Dupont Circle. Sean Howe has photographs online here, here, and here.

Here are the scans about the exhibit. I'm afraid most of them are only partially complete, but they give you an idea about what was in the show, and how it was received. Brad scanned the whole catalog of the show, and it's online here. Two libraries are shown in Worldcat as holding a copy of it - the Tate in London and UC Berkeley in California.
Corcoran Gallery's press release, page 1
Front cover to the catalog with art by Bhob.

Exhibit opening ticket.

Newspaper clipping with Skip Williamson art

Article from the New York Post.

Fragment of a Washington Post article

Partial Washington Post article from May 21, 1969.

Partial Washington Star article from June 1, 1969
Article from an unknown New York city magazine.

For more information on Bhob's life, read Bhob Stewart, 1937-2014, by Bill Pearson, Feb 26, 2014.